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Kinnear raises doubts over Keegan's version of St James' exit

Published 03/11/2008

Newcastle United's caretaker manager Joe Kinnear has placed a question mark against Kevin Keegan's version of his acrimonious departure from St James' Park in the days after the closing of the August transfer window.

Newcastle are insistent that Keegan resigned, but Keegan is understood to have launched a case for constructive dismissal. Speaking of the manner of Keegan's exit, Kinnear said: "I could tell you lots of things about that. You will have to wait and see. You might be pleasantly surprised.

"You are [making an assumption] like most of the journalists up here. Seventy-five per cent of you are wrong. Wait until you see the statements, that is all I am saying. All will be revealed."

Kinnear agrees with Keegan's view that Michael Owen's contract is a priority – he is free to speak to other clubs in January – but Kinnear is unable to make any decisions on such matters unless the club's owner, Mike Ashley, postpones a sale and asks Kinnear to stay on. "The club has to keep Michael and players like him," Kinnear said. "This is a big club and Michael is a big player. It will cost a lot of money to replace him. I'd keep him here. I feel the same way as Kevin about him.

"If Mike Ashley came to me and said, 'Hey Joe, I'm not selling the club until the end of the season', I would say, 'Here are a few players I think will improve the team and guarantee you will be selling the club as a Premier League club'."

Kinnear was asked if he would sign a contract until the end of the season. "I think the end of the season would be a bit harsh on me. I think it might be a bit unfair. I would certainly do it until Christmas. Then I would have to look at it again," he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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