Wednesday 21 March 2018

Business as usual for Hughton

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton was today plotting a way forward as he entered the latest crucial period of his reign.

The former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland defender has spent much of his time at the helm fighting fires and while the departure of number two Colin Calderwood may not be the biggest problem he has ever faced, it left him with an unexpected gap to plug.

Calderwood ended his association with the club yesterday to take up the vacant manager's job at Hibernian and the process of finding a replacement is already underway, with former Magpies coaches John Carver and Steve Clarke among those to have been linked with the post.

In the meantime, Hughton and goalkeeping coach Paul Barron will prepare the team for Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit to West Ham hoping for a first victory in four attempts to ease the club back up the table.

Hughton said: "For us, it is very much a case of business as usual.

"The endeavour to bring somebody in has started, and that is what I will be doing over the next couple of days.

"Myself and Paul Barron will take first-team training, and we have to make sure we prepare correctly for West Ham.

"The attitude, no matter what, always has to be focusing on the next game and putting out a team capable of getting the right result at West Ham."

Hughton's search got underway as the club contended with young striker Andy Carroll being charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend - and subsequently bailed to live with club captain Kevin Nolan - as well as a growing concern over recent results.

Last night's 0-0 draw between Blackburn and Sunderland saw Newcastle slip to 16th place with eight points from as many games, and while they are only two points adrift of Blackpool in 10th, home fixtures against the Tangerines, Stoke and Wigan have yielded just a single point when nine was the target.

The Black Cats head for St James' Park a week on Sunday and the result, whatever has happened at Upton Park, could prove hugely significant in terms of how the rest of the season pans out.

Press Association

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