Chris Hughton was at Newcastle for about three years after joining Kevin Keegan in February, 2008.
In his final 18 months on Tyneside he took over the side in the summer of 2009 after we had just been relegated and then brilliantly managed the side to promotion and the Championship title with 102 points and 30 wins in the next season.
Chris was a hero to the fans and certainly to players such as goalkeeper Steve Harper , Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan among others, who heaped praise on the way he brought all the players together when the club under Mike Ashley seemed to be in complete disarray in that terrible summer of 2009.
Chris Hughton with Championship trophy in May, 2010
After getting Newcastle promoted and having us mid-table, having humiliated Sunderland 5-1 at home and beating Arsenal at the Emirates 1-0 (the only time we have ever won there) – he was shockingly fired by Managing Director Derek Llambias in December of 2010 and all hell broke loose on Tyneside – and rightly so.
Before last night’s game against his old club Chris was interviewed in The Argus and he had this to say about his time at Newcastle United:
“I was there for just under three years, not all the time as manager.” “I enjoyed living in the area. It was very much transitional times at the club.”
“It was a very good period for me and certainly one I will never forget.” “In any player or manager’s career you look back on big moments and that was a very big moment for myself.”
“It was my first managerial role, so it was very special for me, but more importantly it was very special for the club.”
“It has certainly helped shape my career, there’s no doubt about that.” “It’s very nice to hear those quotes from ex-players, but they were also very valuable for me.”
“It was an incredibly good group that I had and, whatever I was able to give them, they were able to give me more.”
“Certainly, if I look at my managerial career, it’s the role that gave me that opportunity.”
“I feel that I’ve developed as a manager over that period of time and going through what we went through in that season and the season after, certainly gives you a grasp of what management is about, the ups and downs.”
“I’d like to think I’m a better manager for it.”
Chris always reminded us of Sir Bobby Robson, because he is a really good man, a good coach and a real gentleman of the game – just like Bobby.
It would be great if both Newcastle and Brighton can get the two automatic promotion spots this season – but nothing is ever certain in football.