Butt backs Kinnear to get Magpies moving

October 18, 2008

Newcastle midfielder Nicky Butt is backing interim manager Joe Kinnear to drag the club away from trouble if his stay proves to be longer than expected.

The 61-year-old has been at St James' Park for three weeks after initially being employed until the end of October.

However, as the search for a buyer for the club continues, Kinnear could find himself in charge for significantly longer, and that would not be a problem for former Manchester United star Butt.

He said: "We know he's going to be here for at least two or three months, and it's a way of moving forward.

"Although it's not a perfect scenario, he's come in for what is going to be a difficult job for him, and he has done well so far.

"You judge a man on his results and if we keep doing as well as we did in the second half against Everton, we will be okay.

"To be fair to [caretaker boss] Chris Hughton, he did a good job and it was just unfortunate that we were getting results we didn't deserve.''

Kinnear was appointed temporary boss on September 26 in the wake of Kevin Keegan's departure and arrived on Tyneside the following day to witness the club's 2-1 home defeat by Blackburn.

Hughton, who stepped into the breach following Keegan's resignation last month, in total presided over four successive defeats to go with the 3-0 reverse at Arsenal in what proved to be the former England manager's last game.

However, that run finally came to an end last time out at Everton despite the most inauspicious of starts.

The Magpies trailed 2-0 before the break, but fought back with goals from Steven Taylor and a rejuvenated Damien Duff to snatch a point.

Duff could prove to be a huge asset on Monday night when Manchester City head for Tyneside, having turned in an excellent display for the Republic of Ireland in their 1-0 World Cup qualifier victory over Cyprus in midweek.

The former Blackburn and Chelsea midfielder is perhaps enjoying his best run of form since his £5million switch to Newcastle, and with captain Michael Owen sidelined by a groin injury, he could be a key figure.

Obafemi Martins may return from a knee injury to provide his side with a timely boost, while Habib Beye and Jonas Gutierrez are also in contention.

But whoever takes the field on Monday evening, Butt is calling for the same courage which saved the day at Goodison Park to come to the fore once again.

He said: "Joe's come in now and although it wasn't a great performance against Everton, especially in the first half, we showed a bit of courage and came good in the second half.

"It's only early days, and we will see at the end of the time he's here.''

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