Hughton wants Carroll out of the news
Published 08/11/2010 | 15:40
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has told striker Andy Carroll to concentrate on making headlines on the back pages of the newspapers rather than the front.
The 21-year-old endured a mixed day yesterday when, after waking to read yet more lurid tabloid revelations over his private life, he turned in a match-winning display as the Magpies stunned Arsenal to claim a 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Carroll, who was watched by England boss Fabio Capello against the Gunners amid speculation that his stunning run of form could earn him a first senior international call-up for the friendly against France later this month, has found himself on the news pages far too often in recent months, and his manager insists that must come to a halt.
Hughton said: "With Andy, it's about making sure that all the headlines he is making are on the back pages.
"He is a young man, he has made mistakes, but he has got to make sure he learns from those mistakes, and I am quite sure he will.
"He is an environment here where he is getting a lot of support from the club, certainly the staff and the supporters, and I am quite sure his concentrations will be very much on football, 100pc.
"Young professional footballers are easier targets. They have a different lifestyle, as people see it.
"They are young, privileged men and that's how people see it. They have got to make sure they don't get caught up in the pitfalls of it all."
On the pitch, things could hardly be going better for the Gateshead-born youngster, who followed up a superb individual display in a the 5-1 derby rout of Sunderland with his sixth goal of the season at the Emirates.
Whether that propels him into the England set-up remains to be seen, but his club manager is delighted with his contribution to a fine start to the campaign.
Hughton said: "That's down to the manager. All we can do for our part is support him and create an environment in which he can flourish.
"At the moment, he is a young man who is playing very well on the back of an excellent performance at Arsenal.
"The reason why we gave him that number nine shirt is because we saw that potential in him, and we hope that continues.
"He is a player in form. He is, of course, a little bit different to a lot of the other England strikers at this particular moment, which perhaps sets him apart.
"He is an old-fashioned centre-forward, he is left-sided and has a prowess in the air. He is certainly different.
"He is still developing his game, he will have bad periods, he will have ups and downs as all centre-forwards do, but at the moment, he is a player playing very, very well.
"He's providing the team with a wonderful platform up front and scoring goals as well.
"The most important thing is that his mind is very much concentrated on doing the best job he can for this football club."
The win at Arsenal sent Newcastle to the dizzy heights of fifth place in the table, although no-one at St James' Park will be allowed to get carried away.
Hughton is keeping his own feet firmly on the ground as he continues to work without a number two - the process of replacing Colin Calderwood is ongoing - and with his contractual situation due to be addressed only at the end of next month.
When it was suggested he had gained a few grey hairs in recent weeks, he replied with a smile: "That's down to not having time to get my hair cut.
"Normally it is a little bit shorter than it is now. I was warned when I came to Newcastle that the grey ones might come a little bit faster than I anticipated, and they probably have."
Carroll could be set for his first senior England call-up in the friendly against France at Wembley later this month.
England manager Fabio Capello was at Emirates Stadium yesterday.
Carroll told nufctv: "Obviously, it hadn't been the best of days for me, but it was a great ball from Joey and I just got on the end of it. It means a lot to me.
"I've got the players around me to put crosses in and give me the service that I need, so I think if it keeps continuing like that there's loads more goals for me there this season."