We Focused Only On Things We Could Control

Chris Hughton has talked today about when he took over Newcastle on a temporary basis last summer,  and he says that he had so much to do, that he only concentrated on things he could control, like the training, preparing and playing of the games.

Calderwood and Hughton – concentrated only on things they could control

That practical and positive approach seemed to rub off on the Newcastle players quickly, and by the end of  August Newcastle had 5 wins in their first 6 games, 4 clean sheets and the only game the team didn’t win that first month of the season was the first game at WBA, when we came back to draw 1-1.

Hughton said today:

“I was still caretaker but I didn’t find it difficult. I knew I was under contract so even if a manager came in, I’d be here. I was enjoying the role, we were doing well. I had a focus.”

“There was enough training, preparation for games, picking the right team and the games themselves to keep me distracted. That all took over, I didn’t have time to dwell on anything else. It wasn’t difficult for me, even if that surprises people, it wasn’t.”

“There were always other things on my mind. The uncertainty was always there, but other things took it over, I think we were all grateful for that. We were able to block it out because it wasn’t something we could control.”

“All we focused on were the things we could control, training, winning games, the normal things. It was from that that we got this fantastic team spirit. Once the players had that focus, everything else that went on around us – it just made this group stronger.”

“They knew that they were going to be the team that was there to be shot down. They knew they were the scalp this season and they knew people were waiting for them to slip up. There was enormous pressure and expectation on them, but they gained strength and unity.”

The players certainly gained strength and unity in the wake of that initial adversity, and last season is now history – but what a history it has turned out to be for the Newcastle United club.

Comments welcome.

4 comments so far

  • baro

    May 4, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #1

    Its excellent to see that Chris Hughton is taking it all one step at a time. I think people will really see how good of a manager he is in the premiership.

    By the way one of our transfer targets Jermaine Lens, Az Alkmaar striker who is about 23 years old has been roumored that he has agreed to sign for PSV for just 5 million. I really wanted this guy to come to tyneside. 🙁

  • Chris F

    May 4, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #2

    it’s the way it has to be done, accentuate the squad we have, rather than decimate it.

    the one thing we have now, which we didn’t have a year ago is good team spirit. We may not have the flair just yet, but we have a good group of honest, hard-working players (and Shola) who you can tell want to play for the club, the shirt and the fans.

    I’ve been saying ti for months now, all we need are a few additions, not wholesale changes throughout the squad as that would only serve to undo the good work done this season imo.

  • jimiley

    May 4, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #3

    Chris F
    I agree. We need only spend 7 or 8 million to guarantee not getting relegated. The following season we should build on this platform. Taking small steps at a time, I reckon we need only spend another 5 or 10 million to get to mid table. The problem will be the season after that. We might need to spend big to break into the top 6 and I cannot see the fat man doing that. Hopefully he will be gone by then.

  • henok

    May 4, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #4

    @3 I like the “fat guy” ya what chris needs to do is focus on bringing players that can acctualyy pass the ball straight …with the excption of nolan and Danny boy out mid players have problem passing the ball …just look some games that we played away from home


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