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English Premiership

Newcastle rule out new boss

NEWCASTLE, February 25 – Newcastle have ruled out a move to bring in a new manager while Joe Kinnear recovers from a triple heart bypass operation.

JOE_KINNEARWigan manager Steve Bruce has been linked with the post but managing director, Derek Llambias, said he was confident coaches Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood could steer the club to Premier League survival.

"Chris has done a good job," Llambias said. "He is full of confidence. Colin is in there helping us and Joe is still in the background. We are happy with that situation, and that will take us through until the end of the season."

Kinnear, 62, was discharged from hospital on Saturday following his surgery and has been told not to consider returning to work for at least two months.

He is however in regular phone contact with Hughton. "Unless they cut the phone lines around his house, there’s no way he won’t communicate," Llambias said. "I have had to tell him he is meant to be resting. It’s the way Joe is."

Tottenham’s win over Hull on Monday night pushed Newcastle back down to 15th in the table, three places and five points above the relegation zone with 12 games to play.

The club meanwhile have reacted to the current economic crisis by cutting season ticket prices for 2009/10 back to last season’s levels, an average reduction of nine percent on the levels of this campaign.

Newcastle’s poor form this season has resulted in a fall in attendances with only three matches this season attracting crowds of over 50,000 to the 52,000-capacity St James’ Park.

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