Friday 24 March 2017

Kerr rubbishes ‘inexperienced’ claims against ousted Toon boss Hughton

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

BRIAN KERR has rubbished the suggestion that Newcastle manager-in-waiting Alan Pardew is more experienced than Chris Hughton.

As the furore over Mike Ashley’s decision to sack Hughton rumbles on, ex-Ireland boss Kerr has weighed in to defend his former assistant against the claim that he is short of the expertise required to handle top-flight management.

“They said in the statement that they felt they needed someone with more experience,” said Kerr. “These are the same people who appointed Alan Shearer with no experience.

“Alan Pardew has done a reasonable job at some clubs. But he’s out of the scene in the Premier League in the last few seasons and Chris has been in the thick of it for the last 15-20 seasons.”

The Dubliner denied that Hughton had invited him to come to St James’ Park as his assistant, but admitted he was aware from discussions with his close pal that his position was insecure.

INSIDE

“What I do know is that the club told him they wanted him to take someone from inside and that Chris wasn’t so happy about that. He wasn’t allowed to bring in his own choice,” said Kerr in an interview with Today FM.

“The little feelers I got from Chris are that he wasn’t happy this summer, or even the previous summer, with the lack of backing he got from the owner.

“He came into a right mess. The owner made it quite clear he wanted to sell the club and didn’t want to invest in the team. Chris was left to hold the fort and put a bit of shape on it.

“He got them promoted, and developed a spirit that many felt was beyond them with some of the characters that are there.”

Pardew’s appointment is expected to be confirmed today, with unhappy Toon fans planning protests ahead of Saturday’s league meeting with Liverpool.

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