Belfast Telegraph

Magpies won't rush appointment

Newcastle will do their homework before appointing a head coach for the long term.

Managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr are currently speaking to a series of potential candidates in an attempt to get a picture of what each feels they can offer the club, and also whether or not they would be able to work to the terms of the blueprint drawn up under owner Mike Ashley.

But Press Association Sport understands what Newcastle will not do is rush to make an appointment as they attempt to install the right person to bring stability to the club over a sustained period.

That is unlikely to amount to the eight-year contract handed to the recently departed Alan Pardew in September 2012, but could extend to four or even five years.

What the Magpies want to avoid is the kind of turnover which characterised the early years of Ashley's tenure with Sam Allardyce lasting just a matter of months and Joe Kinnear, Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer faring little better before Chris Hughton, after three spells as caretaker, steadied the ship until he eventually made way for Pardew in December 2010.

Remi Garde emerged as the bookmakers' favourite over the weekend after holding talks with the club, although sources on Tyneside were quick to insist the former Lyon chief - nor for that matter, anyone else - had not yet been offered the job.

In fact, Garde is one of several contenders with whom contact has been made, and further talks are planned over the next few days.

The likes of St Etienne's Christophe Galtier, Ajax boss Frank de Boer and Steve McClaren at Derby have all distanced themselves from the vacancy, at least in the short term because they remain contracted to their current employers, as does Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement.

But the key phrase on the lips of insiders on Monday was "due diligence" as Charnley and Carr seek the right man at the right time, and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they could decide to wait until the summer to get him if they feel that is the best option.

Timing, however, is a complicating factor with the transfer window - Pardew had hoped to add to the existing squad - at a time when key midfielder Moussa Sissoko has been repeatedly linked with a move away, something the former manager had been assured would not happen.

Pardew's assistant John Carver, aided by first-team coach Steve Stone and football development manager Peter Beardsley, have taken charge for the last three games - a 3-3 home draw with Burnley and Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Chelsea either side of the FA Cup third-round exit at Leicester- and it seems likely they will remain at the helm for Saturday's home clash with Southampton.

Carver has made no secret of his wish to be considered for the job himself, and should Newcastle decide to wait to make a permanent appointment, he is in pole position to plug the gap for the remainder of the campaign if required.

But having presided over one costly relegation and its impact on and off the field at the end of the 2008-09 campaign, Ashley will be in no mood to let a season which has fluctuated between promise and despair slide to the point where survival becomes a concern once again.

The Magpies currently sit in 10th place in the table, just seven points shy of the top six, but only eight clear of the bottom three.


From Belfast Telegraph