Hughton given green light to increase troops

26 September 2009 08:45
HAVING bolstered his Newcastle United squad by two within the last eight days, caretaker manager Chris Hughton intends to double that figure before Bristol City travel to St James Park next weekend.

Marlon Harewood has gone straight into the squad for this evenings trip to Ipswich Town, where he is likely to start on the bench alongside fellow loanee Zurab Khizanishvili.

Having finally landed Harewood from Aston Villa on an initial three-month loan, Hughton is keen to ensure his recruitment drive does not end there.

He has previously tried to sign Manchester Uniteds Craig Cathcart and Darron Gibson, although Hughton admits he has had to reconsider his targets and will be working on deals in the coming days.

Theres nothing close, but if we were to pick up injuries wed be short, so we know we could do with more bodies,

said Hughton, whose side also face QPR on Wednesday.

With that in mind we probably need another two players.

We are looking and will continue looking.

Despite the ongoing discussions between potential new owner Barry Moat and Mike Ashley about taking control at St James Park, Hughton has been encouraged to learn he still has room to bring in a couple more players.

The caretaker boss has a reduced squad at his disposal, having witnessed a youthful Newcastle team lose 2-0 at Peterborough in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

He said: We do have a group of young lads who have been training with the squad, some since last season, some since pre-season, that we do feel can develop this squad and I am quite sure they will get further opportunities this season.

But Hughton will be looking to field his strongest possible side at Ipswich tonight, when Newcastle could climb back to the top of the Championship against Roy Keanes strugglers.

Keane is yet to enjoy victory from his opening eight matches in charge of the Tractor Boys, losing one and drawing three at Portman Road.

They are a side I would not expect to be there come the end of the season, said Hughton.

I look at it as a very competitive league and a team that does not start as well as teams above them soon find themselves struggling. While I would not expect Ipswich to be there, where they are speaks volumes for this league.

Given Keanes standing as a former Sunderland manager there could be an extra bite, but Hughton feels the occasion is likely to be more about former Ipswich and Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson.

Both teams have been given special dispensation to wear commemorative shirts, which will later be auctioned off in aid of Sir Bobbys charity.

Hughton said: Its Sir Bobbys game and that takes precedence, it wont be about Roy.

Source: Northern_Echo

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