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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Kinnear unabashed as LMA slam outburst

Newcastle interim manager Joe Kinnear has pledged not to curb his tongue and admitted: ''I didn't think there was so much hatred up here.''

The former Wimbledon and Luton boss made the headlines less than a week after his short-term appointment with an expletive-laden rant at a number of national newspaper journalists.

The League Managers' Association has described the outburst as ''unacceptable'' and called on Kinnear to apologise if his comments were not off the record.

But Kinnear has defended his behaviour and insisted the negative reaction that greeted his arrival was undeserved.

''I've got to hold my hands up, I didn't think I'd be treated the way I have been with all the cheap shots,'' he said.

''I didn't realise football had got to that stage. I've got a short temper, I've got a short fuse, I'm well aware of that. I say what I believe and I'm never going to change.

''There have been people saying I've had two heart attacks and I'm ready for a third, others saying I need my head examined. I didn't envisage any of this, not in the slightest, and maybe I'm naive because of that.

''I was in a state of shock and just couldn't believe it, it's sickening. I can see why people say Newcastle is one of the most difficult clubs in the country to manage.''

League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan described Kinnear's rant as ''unacceptable''.

He told Five Live's Sportsweek programme: ''Whether it's a manager, owner or even supporter, such heavy use of language is unacceptable, when in a public arena.

''However, in Joe's case his conversation did start off the record and in a private meeting.''

When asked if Kinnear should apologise, Bevan added: ''If it wasn't a private meeting, then the answer is yes.''

Kinnear is expected to stay at St James' Park until owner Mike Ashley completes a sale of the club, and speculation is rife Kevin Keegan will then return to the St James' Park hotseat for a third time.

Bevan hinted Keegan would be open to the idea, saying: ''Kevin's position is he is not involved in any potential purchase of Newcastle United.

''He has had a couple of conversations with some potential bidders that contacted him.

''However, no commitments have been made by Kevin and only when a successful sale has been completed can he really judge the situation. I'm sure he'll do that on its merits at that time.

''If and when the club is sold and the owner or new owners wish to meet with Kevin, I'm sure he'd be happy to do so.''

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