Hughton hides from Toon talk
Newcastle's caretaker boss Chris Hughton has shrugged off speculation he will be installed as permanent manager if the club are not sold in the near future. Owner Mike Ashley is yet to offload the club despite months of negotiations with potential buyers. And rumours mounted this week that he could ensure Hughton's immediate future is at St James' Park after asking the former Republic of Ireland international to take temporary charge for a third time during the summer. Despite constant rumours over the club's future and the managerial situation, Hughton has been diplomatic throughout and insists the playing and coaching staff will continue to concentrate on on-field matters. "It's a normal week, isn't it?" he joked. "It's something that I have very much got used to. "We know there is going to be something different in the papers every day. But that's not the important thing. "The important thing, of course, is being able to focus on football matches and up until this stage, we have very much been able to do that." It is understood five different consortia have been in talks with the current regime, one of them led by Tyneside businessman Barry Moat, although a deal is yet to be struck. Some of the consortia have signalled their intention to install Alan Shearer as manager should their bid prove successful. Shearer failed to steer the Magpies clear of relegation during his short-term spell as manager last season, but Hughton has since boosted spirits on Tyneside by guiding them three points clear at the top of the Championship after 11 games. Just one league defeat and three draws so far have also seen Hughton pick up two Manager of the Month awards. "As with anything, any good publicity is always nice and flattering," he said. "But the only thing we can deal with is facts. We are where we are and until we are told anything different, we crack on as normal."
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