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Over to Hugh!

By Lee Ryder on Feb 19, 09 09:26 AM

Newcastle United's future may well be in the balance but amidst the pandemonium surrounding whether fans stay or go at the end of the season, in control of what many now see as a sinking ship is the calm figure of Chris Hughton.

When Hughton arrived at St James's many Toon fans uttered: "not another Cockney."

And while another dubious Tottenham link walked through the door at St James's Park 12 months ago, many were left to wonder who came up with the idea of bringing in Mr Spurs - certainly none of it fitted in with the Keegan way.

Regardless of what you think about the future of the team though and regardless of what you think of Chris Hughton - United's Premier League future is in the hands of the ex-Eire international.

Speaking to Hughton this week he admitted that he doesn't switch off from all things Newcastle United and relaxation is difficult at the helm of what has turned into a black and white monster.

Hughton was left in charge when Kevin Keegan walked out back in September and after doing the job on numerous occasions at White Hart Lane, it's fair to say he's had plenty of practice.

Now more than ever, it could turn out to be Hughton who is Newcastle United's unlikely saviour.

For Newcastle to be where they are is wrong for a host of reasons.

But Hughton, pigeon holed as a coach in football, is paid to manage situations and that situation is to save Newcastle from relegation after the soap opera to end all soap operas on Barrack Road this season.

As ever Toon fans will get behind the team but Hughton's task is to pick up four wins from the last 13 games and the sooner the better.

After that it's up to the Toon board to sort out the shambles that have left Newcastle in deep trouble in the Premier League.

The managerial situation first and foremost and then six or seven players (maybe more) to bolster the squad and give them a realistic chance of getting a respectable finish.

For now though, nobody can lose focus on reaching the magic 39 or magic 40 mark to keep Newcastle's top flight status in tact.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

19 Comments

Jack said:

Totally agree. Massive game on Sunday. Nothing but admiration for the way Everton have gone about business this season but they are beatable. Just reading your interview there with Ryan Taylor. Deffinatly seems like he's got a good attitude. Him and Noland actually. Still, he's surely deluding himself if he reckons there is more quality in this squad than at Everton. There has been a real lack of goals, creativity and pace from midfield for to long now. If we stay up this has to be addressed next season.
By the way anyone see Wagnar Love the other day? Shit hot. If Newcastle are going to accomodate their vast army of honest, workmanlike centre midfielders then surley the money's got to go on a player like that to play in front of them. A real number 10 to link the play. Obvoiusly, he's not coming to Newcastle. But these players must still be coming through somewhere. If Dennis Wise ever wants to be able to walk around Newcastle then finding a player like in the back of beyond is a good place to start.

mark said:

I hope the day never dawns that weasle wise walks around newcastle in the daylight.

ClivetheMag said:

I still live in hope that we can stumble on to the end of the season with our Premiership status intact but a repeat in the next 4 games of the 4 games that Hughton was in charge of earlier in the season will leave us adrift and doomed

John Best said:

Dont see much hope this weekend; Everton reserves could turn us over.These are really desparate times at NUFC.

lee said:

I HAVE TO SAY I HAVE NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR EVERTON THEY ARE FANTASTIC THE MANAGER THE PLAYERS AND THE FANS ARE ALL OUTSTANDING.EVERTON HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A MASSIVE CLUB AND IN MY OPINION THEY ARE THE YARDSTICK FOR THE CLUBS OUTSIDE THE SO CALLED BIG FOUR.SUNDAY WILL BE TOUGH BUT LETS NOT FORGET WE WENT TO GOODISON AND COME FROM 2-0 DOWN TO SALVAGE A VERY CREDITABLE DRAW.LETS ROLL OUR SLEEVES UP ON SUNDAY.COME ON THE MAGS.

PercyArcade1956 said:

Everton have shown the virtue in sticking with a manager long term. Also their lack of big- budget buying and shortage of resources may have paradoxically helped the focus of their squad. The team, injuries/suspensions apart, has been pretty much self-selecting and not disrupted by "tinkering" or "rotation", which has contributed to their consistency. There's also good team spirit present, which showed in their cup win over Liverpool. However, if we can summon up the same type of spirit and attitude there's no reason why we can't win on Sunday. Summoning up this attitude is down to the management team - the question is can, in the absence of a permanent manager, Hughton and Calderwood provide the motivation required??

londontoon said:

percy i agree there, I thnk it comes down to attitude, thats why we can beat them..! if we come in with the right attitude we can give them a real go..
we are at home and we have a good chance. Everton have done great the last few seasons they've got over the mental barrier of being the under dogs on mersyside and have proved they can play well when they have got some of their top players out.
i honestly believe we can get something.
i don't believe they are as good as us on paper but they beat us hands down on the mental side of the game.. lets at last try and match them there..

M. Sebastian T. said:

Everton are probably nearest thing now to the 1970's Leeds United. The run all the time, the niggle push and shove opponents, they go for the body whenever they jump and they have a guy with rocket power boots. I think poor old Toon will not know what hit them. Them knocking Lubberpool and Aston Village off recently was no fluke. And now Toon get to face them!

Another result will be hoped for by the faithful but Everton are probably the worst possible team to face right now. Don't be surprised if it is a least 0-3.

Hughton the hoot -- who need say more!

Big Kev said:

Tough game but EFC are beatable. We got a deserved point at there place earlier & can get the 3 pts but have to perform. No Cahill for Everton which is massive for us, they're a good side but without their main man the Toon can def get at them. They're not the same side without Cahill, just look at their record at the start of the season when he was out.

Ivor Clark said:

Everton are no mugs. But we do have debutants just waiting to make their impression. I think Nolan, Taylor and Krands hae been the shrewdest of deals - well done JK. Shame he canno enjoy that now - wish him well. We need a point at least. Losing away games is one thing, but losing home games even worse so keep it tight lads. Gee whizz the PL this season is crazy. I reckon 35 pts might be enough for safety coz bottom half are always playing each other just about every week......Its those teams we realy need to beat, Everton will be a bonus......

Mark said:

I think we have a good chance of beating everton on sunday but he's got to start Lovenkrands and Martins up front, that along with Jonas and Taylor on the wings could give us a real chance. Having said that he probably play shola.

mark said:

I wish joe all the best regarding his health because all the fans will do the same , because we are geordies . He took the job on when no one else would and he deserves full credit for that. However i hope he does not think that he has a long term future with our club because Newcastle needs a better manager to take them back to the keegan standard of several years ago. Sorry joe.

Alan Wright said:

Has the last part of the Llambias interview been shown yet cos I aint seen it?

Watch Leighton Baines on Sunday we should have signed him but unfortunately he was just what we needed so Wise wasn't interested. I hope he leaves his shooting boots at home this time.

kk said:

Lovenkrands and Martins to start pls. No Shola

londontoon said:

well we've got great record against everton and i think CH is taking over under circumstances as has been said. hes had one win already, we have to get behind him. hes the manager right now, so i hope he does well... i still think our best midfield is out but what we have aren't half bad.. howay the lads..

Desmond said:

play shola and we are one man down(maybe 2...at times he really looks like he's playing for the other side)


enuf said.

mark said:

Llambias has just issued a statement that he and Mike understand newcastle now. Wise still there ? I dont think they understand toon yet.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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