Saturday, January 12, 2008
'We won't be rushed' - Mort
Newcastle chairman Chris Mort has insisted the club would take their time to find the right manager after Harry Redknapp's withdrawal from the race to succeed Sam Allardyce.
Redknapp's decision to stay at Portsmouth after holding talks with Mort
yesterday sent the Magpies back to the drawing board, although the chairman
insists the 60-year-old was only one of a series of potential candidates.
In a statement released on the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk, Mort
said: 'In the process of appointing a new manager at Newcastle United, we have
identified and spoken to a number of potential candidates.
'This is a very important appointment - our first since taking control of
the club - and we will take as long as required to make sure we bring the right
'That person will be someone we believe will be able to deliver successful
results and performances to accompany that.
'We can confirm that Harry Redknapp is one of the people the club has spoken
'However, Harry made it clear he is happy with life on the South Coast and we
wish him well for the future.
'We will continue to devote our time to the very important task of selecting
the right person to manage Newcastle United and we will make a further
announcement when appropriate.'
Interestingly, Mort's job spec does not include the word 'experience', which
ran through early briefings in the wake of Allardyce's departure on Wednesday
That instantly ruled out fans' favourite Alan Shearer, who quickly leapt to
the top of the betting pile once again after news of Redknapp's decision emerged
Fresh claims that the 37-year-old would take the job if offered it were
circulating last night, although were given little credence with owner Mike
Ashley have placed a proven track record at the top of his list of
However, speculation that Shearer could work alongside a more experienced man
- the names of Kevin Keegan and Steve McClaren figure large in the most
prominent rumours - was sweeping Tyneside today.
Perhaps more realistic are the claims of Blackburn's Mark Hughes - he insisted
he was happy at Ewood Park yesterday, although that was when Redknapp's arrival
looked a racing certainty - and the currently out-of-work Martin Jol and Jose
Mourinho, with the Portuguese having been linked with the job at St James' Park
even before Allardyce collected his cards.
Having seen their first attempt fail, Ashley and Mort will now step up their
search knowing all the time that as the days slip by, so to do their new
manager's chances of strengthening a squad depleted by the departures of Habib
Beye, Abdoulaye Faye, Geremi and Obafemi Martins for the African Nations Cup in
the winter transfer window.
Redknapp had reportedly been offered a £20million kitty, but Allardyce
admitted as he planned his own recruitment drive that the best signings will be
made during the first two weeks of the month.
The former Bolton boss returned to the club's training ground yesterday to say
his goodbyes to the players before they set off for this evening's Barclays
Premier League clash with Manchester United.
They will run out at Old Trafford themselves not knowing what the future holds
as the turmoil goes on.
By contrast, Redknapp will head for the dug-out at the Stadium of Light
tomorrow still wearing Pompey colours, and he is likely to be greeted as warmly
by the Sunderland fans as by those of his own club as they revel in their