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Kinnear - I am last resort

Newcastle interim boss expects Keegan to return

By Rob Parrish.   Last Updated: 26/09/08 9:26pm

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Kinnear: Keeping seat warm

Kinnear: Keeping seat warm

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Joe Kinnear has admitted he has been handed the chance to be Newcastle's interim manager 'because nobody else wants it', and believes Kevin Keegan will return once the club is sold.

"I'm not a fool, I understand I'm in this position probably because nobody else wants it."
Joe Kinnear. Quotes of the week

Kinnear was the Magpies' shock short-term appointment to fill the managerial void left by Keegan's resignation earlier this month after the ex-England boss fell out with owner Mike Ashley over the club's transfer policy.

Ashley, who only bought the club in the summer of 2007, has since announced he wants to sell the St James' Park outfit after supporters were left bitterly disillusioned by Keegan's exit and launched a string of protests.

Former Wimbledon, Luton and Nottingham Forest boss Kinnear will take charge of team affairs for the next six to eight games, during which time he expects the club to change hands, starting after Saturday's home meeting with Blackburn Rovers.


Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, Kinnear said: "I'm not a fool, I understand I'm in this position probably because nobody else wants it. But the fact is I'm going to be there until the club is sold, which as far as I know will be in October.

"The move came about because Terry Venables turned it down. I got a phone call from Mike Ashley asking if I would come in for between six and eight games, depending on how long it is before the club is sold.

"He informed me that the new owners coming in had Kevin Keegan in mind to come back. I'm aware of that but I want to get the place in shape before Kevin comes back.

"He would be their first choice to bring back to the club after they've bought it. I hope to do exceptionally well, but I'm well aware that if I were to win all six games, the outcome would probably be the same.

"Somebody has got to do the job, it's as simple as that. It's a shame to see the team and the club in the state that it's in at the moment.

"I'm hoping that I can go in and lift the gloom, get a few results and then whoever comes in and buys the club, it will hopefully be in a better state than it is now and it makes things easier for Kevin when he comes back."

Give me a chance

Kinnear's appointment has been met with a less-than lukewarm reception by many supporters on Tyneside, but the 61-year-old has called on the supporters to get behind the team as they look to improve on their recent on-field struggles.

The Magpies have lost their last four matches and crashed out of the Carling Cup at home to Tottenham in midweek in front of a crowd of just over 20,000, with caretaker boss Chris Hughton unable to stop the rot.

Kinnear added: "Until the club is sold, no-one is going to be happy, and until it is sold it's just a case of the supporters being patient. Even though they're not happy with the situation they should still get behind the players, and I'm sure they will.

"I think they would have been surprised at anybody. They've only got one love at the moment, as far as I can see it is Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.

"The supporters come first. Rightly so, they have a major say in what is happening at the club. I'm going to go up there and I just hope they give me a chance.

"Chris Hughton is picking the side (against Blackburn), but I will go in and talk to the players before the kick off. It's no good staying away, I'll have to go and face the fans."

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