Newcastle United news

Newcastle to stick with temporary duo

February 24, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Newcastle United director Derek Llambias has confirmed that the struggling club will not appoint another manager as Joe Kinnear recovers from heart surgery and the temporary duo of Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood will continue until the end of the season.

GettyImagesKinnear insists he is now "fit and well"

The two coaches have been in charge since 62-year-old Kinnear was admitted to hospital ahead of the Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion in early February. Victory at the Hawthorns and a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Everton on Sunday have convinced the Newcastle board that Hughton and Colin Calderwood are the men to lead the fight for top-flight survival.

"Chris has done a good job. He is full of confidence. Colin is in there helping us and Joe is still in the background," Llambias told the Evening Chronicle. "We are happy with that situation, and that will take us through until the end of the season.

"Chris is a thorough football man and a highly-respected coach. The players are full of respect for him and Colin Calderwood."

Kinnear was discharged from hospital on Saturday, a little more than a week after undergoing triple heart bypass surgery, and has been told he will need around eight weeks' rest before he can consider returning to work.

However, Llambias has revealed he played his part in Sunday's draw and will continue to have an influence.

He said: "Joe was on the phone for about one and a half hours to Chris on Saturday.

"Chris and Colin will talk to him on a regular basis. Unless they cut the phone lines around his house, there's no way he won't communicate.

"He phoned me at 11pm on Saturday night because he needed some information.

"The next morning he was back on the phone to Chris for two hours. He then rang me again.

"I have had to tell him he is meant to be resting. It's the way Joe is. He has to learn that for two or three weeks he has to calm down and take it easy."

Newcastle slipped to 15th place in the league table as a result of Tottenham Hotspurs' 2-1 win at Hull City on Monday night, which lifted them above the Magpies on goal difference. Both sides have 28 points and are five clear of the drop zone with 12 games to play.