Mick Harford turns down Toon role
Mick Harford has turned down the chance to become Joe Kinnear’s assistant at Newcastle, opting instead to join Steve Lomas at Championship club Millwall.
Harford, a 54-year-old former Magpies striker, had been in discussions over a return to the club to assist director of football Kinnear, but has decided to work at the London club.
He told Sky Sports News: "After meeting with Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear, I made the hard decision that it is not the right time for me to take up this role.
"It was an honour to be asked to work at a fantastic club, and I have the utmost respect for Newcastle United and its fans.
"I am currently enjoying a role helping out at Millwall, but would like to thank Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear for the opportunity."
As Newcastle undertake a summer revamp of the backroom staff, it had been thought Harford would have focused on domestic talent, helping Kinnear identify players from the lower leagues and watching players loaned out by the Magpies.
However, his possible appointment saw further speculation over manager Alan Pardew’s position, with some believing a 'shadow' management team was being put in place around him.
Newcastle are the only Premier League club yet to sign a senior player in the summer transfer window, but reports over the weekend intimated that the Magpies had begun discussions with Lyon over striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
Pardew, keen to welcome a new signing this week, confirmed that Kinnear was working to secure reinforcements.
"I'm focusing on the team out here [on a pre-season trip to Portugal], and Joe, [club secretary] Lee Charnley and Graham [Carr, chief scout] are looking to get someone over the line," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle
"At the minute, especially if Shola [Ameobi] is missing, and with no Papiss [Cisse] out here, we're a little bit light for a Premier League team. I spoke to Joe on Friday and he has some important meetings."