Hughton: We have to keep our stars

CHRIS Hughton will do his best to stress to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley he cannot afford to let any players leave in the January transfer window.

CHRIS Hughton will do his best to stress to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley he cannot afford to let any players leave in the January transfer window.

Chris Hughton

Hughton continues to operate as a caretaker manager without any long-term assurances about his or the team’s future while Ashley’s laboured attempt to sell the club stumbles from one broken deadline to the next.

But that has not prevented the former Tottenham Hotspur defender from trying to urge the board to resist the temptation to sell anyone in the New Year, including highly-rated goalkeeper Tim Krul.

“In all honesty, I haven’t been given any reassurances about nobody leaving,” said Hughton. “If I look at the conversations I’ve had, more so with Derek (Llambias), it’d be about where we are at this moment leading into January.

“But I’ve not been made aware of any interest in any of our players at all. We know it’s going to be a tough job to keep it going, as it will be for anyone else around the areas we are, so I certainly would like to keep everyone we’ve got here.”

Hughton remains in the dark about the progress of the takeover talks and was unaffected by Alan Shearer’s comments yesterday that he would still like the manager’s job.

He added: “One thing I have been guaranteed is that when there’s something concrete, something definite to say, then of course I’ll be told.

“They keep a keen interest in the football side of things. I have spoken to them, yes. Just really on team issues and of course they’re delighted to see where we are at this stage of the season. I do speak to them but probably the bonus that I have is that I have a job to be getting on with. I probably don’t want to concern myself too much with everything else that’s going on above me, probably for the simple fact that it’s something different every day, every week.

“If I look at where we are at this moment in time, the players that I’ve wanted to come in have come in so, from that side of things, I have no complaints.”

Meanwhile, Shearer continues to monitor the situation at St James’s Park closely, although he admits he has other interests which mean he is not desperately seeking news on the takeover.

He said: “I can’t revolve my life around that any more because I have other things going on. If it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

“For now, good luck to whoever is doing the job. And at the moment Chris Hughton is doing a great job.

“They’ve had a great start to the season. I think without any doubt everybody would have taken the position they are in now.

“So if they can build on that, then it will be great.”

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