Hughton seeks signings to gain promotion
CHRIS HUGHTON is targeting new recruits who can help secure an immediate return to the top flight rather than building a squad for life back in the Premier League. Achieving the short-term goal of promotion is the manager's only concern. He is refusing to look further than ensuring Newcastle occupy one of the Championship's top two positions on May 2. Hughton has admitted he retains an interest in defenders Gary Caldwell and Sol Campbell. He also expects to make a decision in the next couple of days on whether to offer free agent Fabrice Pancrate a contract. If the former Paris Saint Germain winger is anything to go by Hughton is eyeing players who can bolster the number of bodies in his squad rather than those with a proven Premier League pedigree. Managers whose teams are in the Championship promotion places during the January transfer window face a dilemma. Hughton's intention to recruit players to see out the current campaign is in contrast to the likes of Alex McLeish, Paul Jewell and Steve Coppell, who in a similar position bought players they believed had the potential to thrive at the highest level. We are a third through the season, so it is difficult to be think about the Premier League, said Hughton. I know it will continue to be very tough. Our one objective is to get through this campaign and gain promotion. If we are fortunate enough to get promoted I think there are issues which can be dealt with at that time. Hughton denied that this would restrict him to targeting free agents and players available on loan deals. I have been told it's for me to identify the players I want. I have no fears of bringing somebody in on loan or on permanent deal. If I feel it's right I will put it to the board and hope to get their backing. In the meantime, Hughton believes that striker Marlon Harewood can still be a hit with the St James' Park supporters, despite the on-loan striker being booed during his lacklustre display against Doncaster Rovers. Marlon got a good reception when he came off against Peterborough and that was a result of his hard work. The Newcastle fans want to see nice football and their team winning football matches. But, what they always want to see is players that are giving 100 per cent and putting themselves about. And Marlon put in a workman- like performance for the team in that game and I think the fans appreciated that. If he can start adding a few goals to those sort of performances then Marlon will be a hit here. Newcastle have agreed to extend goalkeeper Fraser Forster's loan at Norwich City until the end of the season. Canaries manager Paul Lambert said: Fraser having eight clean sheets in 12 games is a really terrific return. Newcastle have got really high hopes for him, if he keeps progressing he could be a really top goalkeeper.
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