Kinnear aiming to get fans onside
Published 24/06/2013 | 12:46
Joe Kinnear has attempted to build bridges with the Newcastle fans he last week claimed he was more intelligent than.
The 66-year-old has embarked upon a charm offensive of sorts after a difficult first few days in his role as the club's new director of football. Despite rounding on the Magpies' record goalscorer Alan Shearer over the weekend, he has attempted to establish a relationship with supporters angered by his appointment.
He told the Chronicle: "They are like me up there - they appreciate hard work. I am from a council estate and I have been taught the values of hard work. A lot of the fans up there have that attitude. They want to see their team do as well as possible."
Kinnear added: "When things are not going right, they stamp their feet - and so they should. It is part of the culture up there and you have to take the criticism when you do not do well."
Indeed, Kinnear insisted he still retains a huge affection for the club's fans from his brief spell as manager at St James' Park during the 2008-09 season, and reiterated his belief that he was doing a good job until health problems struck. However, he once again hit out at the north-east media, who he famously blasted in a foul-mouthed tirade.
Kinnear said: "When I was there as manager, I was doing a great job. The team was away from the relegation area, but the media were on my back. At the end of the day I love the fans up there. I fell in love with them.
"None of the media liked what I said to them. But I tell you, I did not say one bad word about the fans. You have to remember you are representing the fans up here. That is what I have to do - work hard to get the club going forward again."
Newcastle won five of the 26 games they played under Kinnear's charge, and Shearer was unable to prevent them from slipping out of the Barclays Premier League after being drafted in for the final eight games of the campaign.
Meanwhile, the club have announced that the team will travel to Scotland and Portugal as they prepare for the new season. Alan Pardew's men will head for Motherwell on Tuesday, July 16 before jetting off to Portugal for a training camp which will include fixtures against Primeira Liga duo Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira on July 20 and 23 respectively.
Blackpool will host the Magpies at Bloomfield Road on Sunday, July 28, and a Newcastle XI will play at St Mirren two days later. In their only home fixture of the pre-season campaign, they will welcome Braga to St James' Park on Saturday, August 10 - a week before the new campaign gets under way, although they hope to arrange a further away game before the Portuguese outfit head for Tyneside.