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Prem Forecaster: The relegation race

Premier League
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Kinnear apologises to Toon fans

Newcastle director of football Joe Kinnear has issued an apology for his tirade against the club's fans but failed to attend a supporters' meeting to say sorry in person, the Daily Mirror has reported.

• Blog: Kinnear v The World

Kinnear faced huge criticism for his scathing attack on the Magpies fans. He claimed in a radio interview that he has "got more intelligence than them".

However, at the latest meeting of supporters' umbrella group NUFC Fans United, the Irishman's friend Eddie McIntyre read out a statement on his behalf.

In his statement, former Wimbledon boss Kinnear, said: "I regret what I said to the supporters in the interview I did on talkSPORT. I wish all the fans the very best at their meeting, and I do hope to attend a meeting in future."

Despite delivering the apology, McIntyre was heckled as he tried to defend Kinnear's reasoning for missing the meeting.

"You are asking why Joe Kinnear didn't come here," he said. "He was going to come. Since Joe was appointed [last Tuesday], he has never had a day off. He was going to come up on Sunday night and going to come here.

"I spoke to Joe in the morning. He was waiting to be picked up by Graham Carr [Newcastle's chief scout], who lives in Northampton. He was picking Joe up in Mill Hill [North London, where Kinnear lives] and they were having a business lunch. That's the reason Joe hasn't been able to come."

Meanwhile, Kinnear has disputed fans' claims that he is not well enough to take on his new job at St James' Park.

The 66-year-old was forced to step down from his role as interim manager at Newcastle after suffering a heart attack in 2009.

"Mike [Ashley], the owner, came round my house and we had a chat," Kinnear said. "He asked me about my medical condition and how I was feeling and one thing and another.

"I said I've been cleared, medically, for the last four or five months.

"I'm coming off my treatment. I've lost a stone and a half in weight. I'm very fit, and I've been looking after myself. I have been going to the gym a lot and taking walks."

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