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Harewood keen to stay after brace
Published : 30 Nov 2009 09:44:21
HAVING trebled his Newcastle goals tally at the weekend, Marlon Harewood has spelled out his desire to remain at St James' Park for the second half of the season. Harewood scored a first-half double against Swansea as the Magpies opened up an eightpoint gap to Leicester City in the first of the play-off places. The striker's current loan deal is due to expire at the end of next month, but rather than return to his permanent employers, Aston Villa, he would prefer to remain on Tyneside and help Newcastle battle for a place in the Premier League. I think I'm here until January, but I'd love to have it extended and be part of this for the rest of the season, said Harewood, whose only previous goal for Newcastle came in September's 1-1 draw with QPR. I don't know whether there's been any moves behind the scenes to extend it, so I've just got keep my head down and keep coming in day in, day out and doing my best. Harewood is one of three players on loan at St James', and manager Chris Hughton must make a decision on each before the transfer window reopens on January 1. Full-back Danny Simpson has started 14 of Newcastle's last 16 league games, and it would be a major surprise if Hughton did not attempt to sign the Manchester United defender until at least the end of the season. Zurab Khizanishvili has been rather less successful, and the Georgian is expected to return to Blackburn when his three-month loan expires at the turn of the year. Harewood's future remains open to debate. He failed to impress in the early stages of his Newcastle career, but with his fitness having improved markedly in the last few weeks, Hughton could feel he has something to offer. Marlon's loan is up at the end of December he misses the final game of the year and I clearly have a decision to make, said the Newcastle boss. But that's not the only big decision I have to make in the next two or three weeks. There's nothing in place with Aston Villa about Marlon. He's in the same position as Danny and Zurab, so straight away there's three things to think about. The same question applies to all of them, and it's one I'll have to answer in the next month or so. They're big decisions. Hughton is already understood to have agreed a deal in principle for Sheffield United defender Matt Kilgallon, but the Magpies manager expects owner Mike Ashley to support him if he attempts to complete further deals during next month's transfer window. I've been told that, whatever I want to do, they (the board) will back me, he said. I don't see that changing, so whatever I decide with the loan lads, I expect it to happen. That will be music to the ears of Harewood, who has begun to win around his critics following a number of inauspicious performances at the start of his loan spell. The former Nottingham Forest and West Ham forward was booed by his own supporters during matches against Bristol City and Forest, but claims a close-season ankle injury meant he arrived at Newcastle short of match fitness. I had loads of work to do to get my fitness back up to scratch because I hadn't been playing for a long time and you could tell, said Harewood. I wouldn't say I'm close to where I want to be I've just basically started but I'm training hard and trying get up to where the other lads are. It takes a while to get to know your team-mates, to know where to make your runs, but you have to keep working hard and it comes.