Newcastle to target British signings as Pardew develops workable relationship with Kinnear (From The Northern Echo)
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Newcastle to target British signings as Pardew develops workable relationship with Kinnear
NEWCASTLE UNITED will target the addition of some British players during the January transfer window, and Alan Pardew is confident his growing relationship with controversial director of football, Joe Kinnear, will enable him to achieve his goals.
Frenchman Loic Remy was the only player to join Newcastle during the summer transfer window, agreeing a season-long loan from QPR, and while Mike Ashley will continue to keep a tight control on finances, Pardew accepts the need to strengthen his side's attacking division further at the turn of the year.
Earlier in the summer, both Pardew and Kinnear spoke of the need to recruit domestic players with greater experience of the Premier League, yet none arrived and three of the last four league matches have seen the Magpies line up without a single Englishman in their starting XI.
That is causing growing concern, and while there is unlikely to be a reversal of the policy that has seen Newcastle exploit their long-nurtured connections in overseas markets, there is an acknowledgement that some British additions would be desirable.
“We're going to need to look at British players quickly because we're starting to get filled up with perhaps too many foreign players,” said Pardew. “I think we need to strengthen the team and maybe in January as well.
“I've got a group of players and I owe them the respect to get us to Christmas and then go from there. But I've got a couple of positions where I feel we need to strengthen. I said before the window shut that I thought we needed another offensive player, and I still believe that.”
While Pardew has an input into transfer discussions, the Magpies manager is hardly the prime mover when it comes to the recruitment of players.
Both he and chief scout, Graham Carr, are involved in the identification of potential targets, but responsibility then switches to Kinnear, who works closely with Ashley in order to table bids or draw up contract offers.
The exact parameters of Kinnear's role remain somewhat vague, but the potential for open conflict between the various elements of Newcastle's managerial structure appears to have been avoided, even if performances such as the one delivered in the first half of last month's 3-2 defeat at Everton bring the simmering tensions back to the surface.
Pardew was as surprised as anyone when Kinnear was parachuted back into St James' Park in the summer, but the pair's relationship appears to have evolved into something that both are comfortable with.
“I didn't know Joe at all,” said the Newcastle boss. “I think I had only met him on one occasion, if I'm honest. I've kind of got to know him a little bit more since he's come in, but his role really and truly is to be Mike's confidante in terms of, 'What is the manager wanting, what does he need, what can I deliver for him?' That's his role.
“So far, you can only take someone as you find them and so far he's been supportive. He's asked me what I want, I've told him what I want, and it's his job to try and get it out of Mike as far as I'm concerned.
“He's not involved at the training ground with any tactics or anything like that. He hasn't even offered me his opinion in any kind of manner except to ask mine, so on that side of it, I'm comfortable with that and hopefully he can get the message to Mike on the one or two issues we need to address.”
Ashley's ongoing motivation continues to be a subject of considerable conjecture, with the sportswear magnate remaining as secretive and unpredictable as ever.
Having invested around £240m in Newcastle – much of which is in the form of interest-free loans – it is clear that Ashley does not want his personal outlay to continue to increase exponentially.
Nevertheless, Pardew feels it is wrong to suggest that Ashley has lost interest in the club, even though he concedes his employer has occasionally found it hard to come to terms with the idiosyncrasies of football club ownership.
“Mike is a strong character,” said Pardew, who was a guest pundit on Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday yesterday. “He comes from a background where whatever he's done in his business career, he's been a success. But when you come into football, the logic doesn't quite fit, you know.
“There's a way to run a business, and it can be any business – it can be a clothing business, a car industry, and we have many of these people in the game now who have made their millions from mining etc – and Mike comes from a field where he's been aggressive with his tactics in the sports world and it's brought him huge success. Trust me, he's a genius when it comes to that world.
“That's his world – this is not his world. But he loves football, trust me, and he wants Newcastle to do well. Why wouldn't he?
“But he can't understand the logic sometimes of how it works. It confuses him and I think it upsets him, and sometimes when he's upset, I think he does some things that are not brilliant for the football club. That's just Mike, but I can think of a lot of owners who are less good than Mike.”
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