Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nothing Likely to Distract Hughton

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nothing Likely to Distract Hughton

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown

NOT even volcanic ash may be sufficient to stop Newcastle United becoming Championship title winners before Monday's planned trip to Plymouth Argyle.

It is an outcome Chris Hughton would gladly accept, yet the Magpies manager insists any premature cause for celebration will not detract from the club's approach to its final three games of the season.

United - no matter what Icelandic eruptions do to their travel arrangements - face a Plymouth excursion to be respected, before Roy Keane's Ipswich Town visit Tyneside then the campaign concludes at QPR, and Hughton is determined to ensure his side end the season on a number of highs.

There is the Championship itself, of course, but individual targets too, as players strive for appearances and goals.

And then there is the matter, important to Hughton, of staying unbeaten at St James' Park throughout an entire season.

First though, there is the little matter of getting to the other end of the country.

"We're hoping it's going to be okay," said Hughton, who has doubts over Fabricio Coloccini (hamstring) but Fitz Hall available. "The fact that our game has been moved from Saturday to Monday night could benefit us. There would be great difficulties if we had have been trying to travel Friday for a game on Saturday.

"So we're hoping it's going to be okay.

All we can do is make provisions and organise how we will travel if the problems persist. But we're hoping by the time we travel that everything will be okay. "It's in the lap of the gods really but we're travelling on Sunday, so we're hoping that the problems that exist at the moment will be OK.

"The other options we have are train and the option we wouldn't want to take is to go by coach, which is probably a seven-hour journey, which we'd have to break up. …

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