ONE of Joe Kinnear's closest allies in football says Newcastle United have made a good appointment in bringing back their former manager in a director of football role.
Mick Harford feels that Kinnear’s experience and knowledge of football makes him an asset for United – and his appointment should be seen as a “good thing” for Alan Pardew.
“First and foremost Joe is a very close friend of mine. He is excellent – he’s tactically very aware of what is going on and believe me, he has a fantastic relationship with everybody at every football club he goes to,” Harford told The Journal.
“He’s a proper football man and he probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
“He’s got this fantastic experience and knowledge and while I wouldn’t compare him to someone like Sir Bobby Robson – who was a one-off – he has that sort of knowledge of the game from a long time ago.
“Joe is very popular at the football clubs he works for.
“He will go in and get to know the chairman, the kit man, the tea lady – he will get to know what makes people tick and he won’t go in there with an agenda.
“He’s a football man and that’s what he will want to do – make the club better.
“He’s managed in the Premier League, he’s managed in Thailand, he’s managed at the lower levels and he does have connections.
“I think it is a very, very good appointment for Alan Pardew too. He’s got that breadth of experience.”
Harford, an uncompromising character himself, feels that Kinnear will be no different from first time around, when he made headlines for swearing 52 times in his first Press conference.
“Joe speaks his mind, that’s the way he is,” he said.
“I spoke to Joe at a charity event two months ago and he said that he wanted to get back into the game.
“I don’t think he ever lost that belief in himself.
“It is a brave decision by Mike Ashley, but he’s made some tough ones and got a lot right. I think they should give him an opportunity.”