Chris Hughton has today said that taking over at Newcastle on July 1st and steering the club through some stormy waters to the top of the Championship is probably his greatest achievement in football.
Chris Hughton – proud of what he;’s achieved on Tyneside
Chris won two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspur and became Ireland’s first ever black international player.
He was at Tottenham for g seven years as first-team coach at Tottenham, and was twice caretaker manager at the famous White Hart Lane club.
But Hughton believes his efforts in the last 3 months at Newcastle and guiding Newcastle to the top of the Championship when most pundits were forecasting a tough time in the Championship, could be his greatest accomplishment yet.
Chris said this morning:
“I had some great times at Tottenham as a player and coach, but what we have done here in the last couple of months has given me just as much enjoyment, and possibly more,”
“I was fortunate in my days at Spurs. I was obviously a player there and then on the coaching staff for a number of years, but mostly in good times.”
“But coming here has posed some real challenges, of course, and I think you find out more about yourself in adversity.” “I certainly don’t want to detract from the massive disappointment of having gone down. It was horrendous for everyone – and the fans most of all – and something I never want to experience again.”
“But, certainly, the period from pre-season to now is one I’m very proud of, although a lot of very good people here have made my job much easier. It’s been a great effort by everyone.”
“It’s been very, very challenging and certainly made me a far more experienced, better, more confident coach. It’s made me a better football person.” “And when you’ve had such a down as we had at the end of last season, it does drive you on very much to achieve more.”
When you consider that Kevin Keegan brought Chris to the club only a year last February, Chris has gone through maybe the equivalent of around 10 years experience at any other club. He’s certainly been through a lot of challenges and a lot of pain already on Tyneside.
But is says much for his character that he’s never once complained about anything, and just gets on with the job, and this solid work ethis has seemingly rubbed off on the players, who see that when you are winning things are good – whatever nonsense is happening off the pitch.
Since July 1st, Chris has slowly but surely coaxed the best out of his players, and has them playing some very good looking football, and that’s the test of a good coach after all.
“I’ve always wanted to fight on here – there has always been a purpose to fight on and another challenge to face here,” “Obviously, we all want to bounce back up and put the wrongs of last season right, but I also feel a sense of personal responsibility.”
“I’m not a Geordie, but I was genuinely hurt at what happened last season.” “You can’t live and work in this city and not feel that pain, and the passion to bounce back up.”
“Geordies are very proud, resolute people, and they give me that extra incentive to get things right here, however long I’m around.”
He may not be a Geordie but you don’t need to be born and bred on Tyneside to manage this club.
And as Fabio Capello has proved with the England team, pride and passion can be put into any team, just as long as you have a good coach who can inspire the pants out of his players.
But this being Newcastle, if Barry Moat’s bid is successful it could be that he will soon be replaced as manager, but the sale of the club still seems to have some chapters of the soap opera to run, with news today that a South African consortium may be interested.
Chris should at least be safe until the club is sold, and if he can keep this rejuvenated Newcastle side winning, that’s all that matters really, because that’s job one this season.
The man deserves a medal.