Magpies boss is not feeling the pressure
CHRIS Hughton insists he does not feel under pressure despite seeing his side suffer a dip in form. The Magpies have failed to win since their trip to Goodison Park in September and were minutes away from a third successive home defeat until Fabricio Coloccini scored an injury-time equaliser against Wigan last weekend. Hughton's side currently lie in 16th, just two points above the relegation places with a difficult trip to Upton Park next up before the Tyne and Wear derby a week on Sunday. Preparations for the visit to West Ham have been overshadowed by troubled striker Andy Carroll's latest off-thefield problems. But Hughton insists he is not feeling any pressure. These are testing times, but these are the things and periods you have to go through as a football club, Hughton said. These are the times which will make us stronger as a team. We have done that before and there is no reason why we can't do that again. No, I don't feel under pressure. I think if you look at our league position there is pressure there because there are so many teams around us who are on a similar number of points. There is always pressure to win football matches. We have a very big game at West Ham at the weekend who are in a similar position to ourselves, but these are the pressures you always have to deal with. Hughton's current contract runs out at the end of this season and with no talks over a new deal scheduled, the Magpies boss is in contract limbo. I haven't spoke to him [managing director, Derek Llambias] about that issue because I think any headlines are just speculation. I've continually said my concentration is on trying to win as many football matches in a very difficult league. At any stage, things are going to be written whether that's good or bad and I think all I have to do is concentrate on the job I'm doing and I'm not silly enough not to realise that at times things will be written but like I said all my efforts and concentrations are very much with the team. Asked if he thought he had done a good job Hughton added: That's always for other people to say, all I can do is the best job to the best of my ability and it's really for a everybody else to determine. Hughton was dealt another blow on Monday when assistant Colin Calderwood left to fill the vacant manager's position at Hibernian. The boss has stressed he is keen to appoint a new No 2 with the Magpies already having the smallest back-room staff in the league. Hughton said: At the moment there's myself, Paul Barron, the goalkeeping coach and of course at reserve level Peter Beardsley with Steve Stone assisting him. My intentions are to have a number two in place as quickly as possible and I don't expect it to take a long time, whether that will be by Saturday I'm not sure but I don't expect to hang around on this one. The decision on who will be brought in as my No 2 will be my decision. I have my own ideas on who I would like to be in contention for the position but what I wanted to do was give myself a couple of days because there are a lot of very good people that are out there that could possibly come into contention.
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