CHRIS Hughton last night expressed confidence that Newcastles alarming run of form will not affect his chances of being appointed on a permanent basis.
Hughton is expected to meet Magpies owner Mike Ashley within the next 48 hours to discuss his current position as interim boss, but last nights 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe means he will do so on the back of a four-game winless run.
Martyn Woolfords secondhalf brace condemned Newcastle to their third defeat of the season, although West Broms defeat to Swansea means they remain joint leaders of the Championship.
Their form is becoming a source of major concern however, even if Hughton claims it will have not have an impact on the discussions that are still expected to end in him being confirmed as the Magpies latest permanent boss.
I dont think it (last nights defeat) will have any effect at all, said Hughton, who watched Kevin Nolan score Newcastles first goal for more than four hours before Woolford claimed a 79thminute winner.
As far as I know, nothing is different and I am still very confident that the situation has not changed.
My thoughts at the moment are all about why we didnt get the result we should have got.
It makes this weekend a bigger game of course, and theres a pressure now that were putting on ourselves.
Last nights defeat followed Saturdays reverse at Nottingham Forest, and while the Magpies offered a far more potent attacking threat than they had posed at the City Ground, they were undone by two poor defensive errors.
Zurab Khizanishvili was at fault for Scunthorpes opener, while the heart of Newcastles back four parted alarmingly as Woolford slotted home the winner. The injured Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini were sorely missed.
Its very frustrating, said Hughton, who will be without Alan Smith for one game after his skipper picked up his fifth booking of the season. We set out the team offensively enough to get a result. On the balance of play and the balance of chances, its a game we should have won.
But they were able to turn us at times and were always a threat. I thought they had a lot of energy in their side and, at the critical moments, they got the goals that really mattered.
In any team, if youre going to get a couple of injuries in a particular position (centre half) then youre always going to be stretched. But what are the choices To bring in loans willy nilly No. If youve got players out long term that might be something you look at, but that isnt the case here.