newcastle news

Kinnear contract extended until end of season

November 28, 2008

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has had his contract at the club extended until the end of the season. Kinnear had been employed as interim manager as owner Mike Ashley looks to sell the club, but has now been given the chance to impress further.

GettyImagesKinnear insists he is now "fit and well"

Kinnear said on the club's official website: "Ever since I came to Newcastle United I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The players have been great to work with and the fans have made me feel at home since day one.

"We have a big challenge ahead of us for the rest of the season but together I'm confident we will make good progress.

"We have some very good players already at this club and hopefully we can further strengthen the squad in January and I will be working very closely with the directors to try to achieve that."

Managing Director Derek Llambias said: "Joe has done an excellent job since coming to the Club and everyone is delighted that he has agreed to remain in charge for the rest of the season."

According to the Daily Mail, two American groups are on the verge of pulling out of talks with Ashley and his brokers over a £280million purchase and the owner has accepted he will need some stability during the January transfer window.

Kinnear, whose original contract has been renewed for the next month following Saturday's 0-0 draw at Chelsea, has made no secret of his desire to take over on a full-time basis and has already started to target new players.

He said: ''I have spoken to the owner, I have explained to him where I think we need to strengthen up with the squad that we have got.

''He is quite happy with that and if we can get the players I am looking for, he has promised me that he will back me up.

''At the moment, the plan is that I identify the players I want and then that will go back to the chairman, Derek Llambias, and then I assume he will give Dennis the order to go and get them, that's how it works.

''But they are strictly my players. I identify them, it goes to the board, they will back it, hopefully finances will be made available and then Dennis will be given the task to go and negotiate and get the job done.''

Kinnear has already drawn up his list of targets, including Arsenal's Denilson and Roma winger John Arne Riise, although it remains to be seen whether the finances at his disposal are sufficient to make permanent signings or simply to fund a series of loan deals.

The 61-year-old has won 10 points from a possible 24 since taking temporary charge and is also keen to secure new deals for senior players like Michael Owen, Nicky Butt and Steve Harper, whose contracts run out at the end of the season.

He said: ''We have got to sit down with Michael now and actually find out how he feels about the situation.

''At the moment, he is being very receptive. I believe he likes it here, to be honest. 'That's my personal opinion, but until I actually hear it from Michael, I don't know. But I sincerely hope I am in a position to keep him, for sure, because I wouldn't want to lose him.''