Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Boss Wants Four More Signings; HARRINGTON COMPLETES OPEN DOUBLE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Boss Wants Four More Signings; HARRINGTON COMPLETES OPEN DOUBLE

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

KEVIN Keegan is still four signings away from the squad he wants next season, and the Newcastle United manager pointed to Damien Duff's first pre-season game for the club as evidence of why he wants the Irishman to be part of it.

Debutant Danny Guthrie came off the bench to score one goal and make another as the Magpies opened their preseason with a 4-1 win over Hartlepool United.

But Duff stole the attention with a hattrick as his manager promised "there's more to come".

In two injury-hampered seasons at St James's Park, the 29-year-old has managed just two goals. But Keegan has told Duff he is part of his plans, and with Jonas Gutierrez unavailable and James Milner starting in central midfield the winger was able to reap what his manager felt were the rewards of a good start to his pre-season.

"We've got to draw a line under what's gone before," he said. "He hasn't had a chance to put a foundation into his season for three years.

"Any player who misses pre-season, no matter how good they are or where they play, it's very hard without a proper base. I think you'll see a different Damien Duff this season. You saw signs of that on Saturday but there's more to come.

"We definitely want to keep him, he sets good standards in training and you need those players.

"I've absolutely no doubt it's the fittest Damien's been since he joined Newcastle, he's at the weight he was at 18.

"He's worked so hard in training at everything we've put on. After 80 minutes he looked like he had a turbo charger in him, as did James Milner and a couple of others. By the time we get to Valencia (who Newcastle host in a pre-season friendly on August 9) that's where the fitness will kick in."

Gutierrez's registration is yet to come through, though Keegan expects to have him available for Saturday's trip to Doncaster Rovers, while Geremi has been given extra time off after representing Cameroon this summer.

Duff (pictured above) started on the right flank against Hartlepool but switched to the left for the second half when N'Zogbia replaced Jose Enrique at left-back. …

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