Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kinnear Return Is Still on Course; 'Keeping Him Away the Problem'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kinnear Return Is Still on Course; 'Keeping Him Away the Problem'

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown

JOE Kinnear's heart bypass operation went well, Chris Hughton has confirmed, and Newcastle's interim manager remains on course to return to St James's Park after the two months of convalescence doctors originally ordered him to take.

The trouble, Hughton concedes, may be keeping him away that long. When you have lived and breathed football as long as Kinnear (pictured right)has, switching off is hard to do.

Facing the biggest challenge of his career on the sidelines right now, for Hughton it is impossible.

But the United coach is determined to maintain the sense of calm that has descended on the club since the closure of the transfer window and hand the reins back to Kinnear with both club and boss in good health. After all, Hughton suspects, Kinnear - whose FA disciplinary hearing following his and Phil Brown's sendingoff last month has been postponed on compassionate grounds - will be itching to get back in no time.

"Everything that we've heard is good news, he's recovering very well. He moved into his own room today and his progress has been good," said Hughton.

"I haven't spoken to Joe, I have rung him quite a few times but I appreciate where he is and that he's not going to be accessible. He's had major surgery and we are only five days post-surgery.

"But at some stage he will be very much itching to get on that phone and to know what's happening. At what stage that will be I'm not sure but it'll no doubt be at the earliest convenience.

"Joe's the kind of person who'll find it hard to take a backward step from it all. He's the type who's always very involved, used to being on the training pitch and in the middle of everything. When you're like that it is difficult. But Joe will be back. The way that we're looking at it is, the statement we made last week that he'd be away for a two-month period still applies. …

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