• Premier League

Kinnear returns to Newcastle setup

ESPN staff
June 16, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Joe Kinnear was manager of Newcastle for 26 games in the 2008-09 season © PA Photos
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Joe Kinnear has revealed he is to make a shock return to Newcastle United as the club's director of football on a three-year contract.

Kinnear was named Newcastle manager in 2008 in equally surprising circumstances following the resignation of Kevin Keegan, but in February of the following year he was taken to hospital feeling ill before a game with West Bromwich Albion and did not return to the job.

But now the former Wimbledon, Luton Town and Nottingham Forest boss, who suffered a heart attack while in charge of the Dons in 1999, is set to make a dramatic comeback - and he insists he will have the final say on transfers.

Manager Alan Pardew is currently 12 months into an eight-year contract with the Magpies, while head scout Graham Carr is on the same long-term deal.

The 66-year-old Kinnear won just five of his 26 games in charge of Newcastle, and also fell out with winger Charles N'Zogbia when he mispronounced the player's name in a post-match interview. He also famously launched into a four-letter tirade at journalists during a press conference.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Kinnear said: "It's been an ongoing situation with Mike Ashley for three weeks and once we clarified what my role would be - in charge of transfers and to help out Alan Pardew - I thought it's a very interesting role.

"I don't believe I could be at a better role at a better club. I believe I'm a very good judge of players, a good tactician, I've worked with the best - I intend to make Newcastle far better than they are now.

"It's absolutely done. I signed it with Mike today and that's taken care of. I intend to meet Alan [Pardew] either tomorrow or within the coming week to discuss the future and go through the team itself. We will discuss where it's glaringly clear we need to improve and that will be my job, to go and find those players.

"I'm as fit as a fiddle now. I'm absolutely delighted with the situation. I've been working out in the gym, I go for long walks, I've lost lot of weight - I'm in the best physical shape I've ever been.

"I've been waiting for the opportunity to come back. I have turned down managerial jobs in the lower leagues, because I felt I'd gone past that and I wanted to get my teeth into something in the Premier League. I've been very fortunate in my life as a manager, I've been manager of the year three times and I've had a great football career so I think I'm ideal for this situation."

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