Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Kinnear: I'm smarter than Toon Army

Joe Kinnear has hit out at Newcastle fans and the media in the north east

Joe Kinnear risked alienating the Newcastle fans further by claiming to have "more intelligence than them".

The 66-year-old has spent the last two days confirming he is back at the club as director of football, heading back to St James Park after a short but controversial spell as manager in the 2008-09 season. Newcastle have yet to officially announce the news but their fans have been quick to voice their dissent.

When asked by talkSPORT what he would say to unhappy fans, Kinnear said: "To all the fans who don't agree with this decision, shall I bring (Derek) Llambias (managing director) back in?. What do you want? What do they want?"

He went on: "I heard a silly comment of 'what can I attract?' I can open the door to any manager in the world, anyone, that's the difference. I've spent my whole life talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out, what would you do? I can pick the phone up at any time of the day and speak to Arsene Wenger, any manager in the league. In all the divisions.

"I don't know what angle they've got, if they want to sit down and argue with me... Some are talking out of their backsides, a load of tosh. I'm not accepting it, as simple as that. I have certainly got more intelligence than them, that's a fact."

Kinnear's initial announcement caused surprise in the game, giving how his initial spell with Newcastle panned out. While his time in the dugout was ended by a heart attack, results on the field contributed to the club's relegation from the Premier League.

United's fans have reacted accordingly but Kinnear, who struggled with some Newcastle players' names as well as Llambias on talkSPORT, added: "I'm a bit surprised. There's a certain section, exactly the same when I got there. I got over 10,000 letters when I had my heart attack, I felt very proud of that and thought I did an excellent job.

"A lot of Geordies are influenced by the media set, because I stood up to 100 journalists that night. It was the same night we beat Tottenham 2-1, the journalists always had it in, many of the Geordie fans were sucked in."

Kinnear went on to defend his record as a manager, adding: "I look at my record and they keep saying to me 'what did I do?'. Where have these people been, on another planet? I've been manager of the year three times, travelled the world as a manager.

"This job came up, a responsible job. Already they're jumping on the bandwagon, 'watch out Pards' (United manager Alan Pardew) but that's the snidey press around that area that have a grudge. I expect it, it's water off a duck's a***."

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