Chris Hughton plans for a quiet New Year

CHRIS Hughton pointed to Marlon Harewood's fourth Newcastle United goal as justification for what he expects to be a low-key January transfer window on Tyneside.

Chris Hughton

CHRIS Hughton pointed to Marlon Harewood's fourth Newcastle United goal as justification for what he expects to be a low-key January transfer window on Tyneside.

Hughton, who dropped Wednesday’s goalscorers Shola Ameobi and Nile Ranger to the bench, brought on-loan Harewood off it to score the Magpies’ second goal in the draw at Barnsley.

He said: “It was a big goal and a big finish, a clever finish. That is the benefit of being able to bring on the quality of a player like Marlon.

“At the moment we do not have too many injuries - Joey Barton and Danny Guthrie picked up a slight injury – and the squad is as strong as it has been all season.”

That, and United’s position eight points clear at the top of the Championship, has reduced the clamour for new faces next month.

Hughton, who will spend today belatedly celebrating his 51st birthday with family, added: “We have decisions to make on three players who came in on loan, Danny Simpson, Zurab Khizanishvili and Marlon, but we are not far off and I do not anticipate a lot coming in during the window.

“The important thing is making sure we have the right personnel in the squad.” Hughton (pictured below) was disappointed to see his side draw after leading twice, but delighted with the performance of Andy Carroll. Back in the side after making unwanted headlines for a late-night incident in Newcastle’s Bigg Market, his headers created both goals.

Hughton said: “He coped very well with it, was instrumental in both goals and gave us 90 minutes.”

He also paid tribute to the near-7,000 travelling supporters in Barnsley’s biggest crowd of the season.

Hughton added: “They were outstanding.

“There is a real appreciation from this group of lads that on a cold Saturday afternoon just before Christmas 7,000 can turn up for a game knowing there is a home match on Sunday.”

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