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Friday, January 18, 2008
Magpies poised for Keegan's second coming

Kevin Keegan will once again be presented to the media today as Newcastle manager as he begins another bid to bring the glory days back to the Tyneside club.

For the third time in his football career the 56-year-old will be welcomed to St James' Park by the black and white hordes who have twice before invested their faith and expectations in him.

The affection in which Keegan is held in the city is testament to the job he did both as a player and manager for the club.

However, the one blemish on his record - and indeed on those of the other 14 men who have filled the role since Joe Harvey's departure in 1975 - is that he was never able to win the trophy which would have further enhanced his legendary status.

At his press conference this afternoon he will outline his vision for the future - with that elusive honour his ultimate target.

Newcastle's last major trophy was the 1969 European Fairs Cup, while domestically that run stretches back to the 1955 FA Cup.

But in the short term Keegan and his players will be concentrating on tomorrow's Premier League clash with Bolton at St James' Park.

The Magpies are without a win in their last five league matches, claiming just one point and that courtesy of a late fightback against Barclays Premier League club Derby.

Wednesday's 4-1 FA Cup third round replay victory over Stoke was one of the most enterprising performances of the season and with Keegan back in the dug-out Wanderers will head for Tyneside knowing they will have their work cut out despite the selection problems the new manager has inherited.

Robbie Elliott, who emerged from the ranks under Keegan at Newcastle before heading for Bolton a few months after his departure, has warned Gary Megson's men they will be up against it as the party continues on Tyneside.

He said: 'It's going to be a sensational atmosphere. Since Kevin left the club, he's been back just once, for Peter Beardsley's testimonial. I was fortunate enough to play that day and when he appeared, the roof nearly came off the place.

'It was the loudest noise I've ever heard in my life, scarily loud. What's happened up here is incredible. People from outside just don't understand how exciting this is for Newcastle.

'It's been a difficult time for the club, but from Saturday onwards, hopefully, the place will take off.

'Before this happened Newcastle was a place where opposing teams were coming and commanding games. But this changes everything.

'It's going to be sensational. If anybody can get Newcastle going, he can.'




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