Joe Kinnear's first day in charge at Newcastle - and the players have a day off
Published 00:00 30/09/08 By By Simon Bird
Joe Kinnear clocked on for his first shift at Newcastle yesterday... and had no first team squad to work with.
Kinnear only has a few games to make an impact at St James' Park, but amazingly there was no urgency in cracking the whip yesterday on the training ground.
Instead of holding an immediate inquest into a five-game losing streak and stamping his personality on the club... the first team had their feet up or were playing golf, ahead of Sunday's trip to Everton.
The interim Newcastle boss will take his first session today and demand United's stars make a fresh start under his charge and start believing in themselves.
Kinnear has held a summit with backroom staff to plan a route out of the club's on-field slump. He is confident he can make an impact this week and get the Magpies organised and professional.
He said: "We need to start clearing the air. We can't brush things under the carpet.
"We'll have a minor shake-up and let people know how important it is to be really professional when we're on the pitch.
"Because of previous results faces are on the ground. People are lacking in confidence.
Someone has to sit down and tell them to forget about it and get on with the game.
"A win at Everton is the minimum requirement. To get a result, lift everyone and play as a team. I would dearly love to have the players back who are injured. Having spent a week with them this week we will be OK.
"I can certainly educate a few of them, that is for sure. In not doing silly things and being more professional on the pitch.
Irrespective of the gimmick and all the stuff that went with my time at Wimbledon, we were a very professional side.
"We will go through the tape of Saturday's defeat to Blackburn. We will explain things. We will put them right back on the training pitch demonstrate how to work as a unit."
Kinnear says he's visited dozens of training grounds during his four years out of the game, including several visits watching the way Arsene Wenger works at Arsenal.
He added: "There are not many clubs that I have not been to while I have been out of football. I have watched Arsenal on numerous occasions.
Everything is done on the training pitch.
"Our players have to realise they are playing for a massive club. Once you put that shirt on, going back to my Tottenham days, there was not a player in that shirt who didn't play with pride. That is a quote from Bill Nicholson.
"Are they moping around? No.
Leadership will come from experience - people like Nicky Butt, who is a wonderful lad in the dressing room, Michael Owen, Shay Given. They are all personalities. Barring those three, the rest are very quiet."
Owen will remain club skipper for Kinnear's tenure and he added: "Quality player, no question about that. With the experience he has got he has seen it and done it. I would like to get similar players around him. He is a Newcastle, England and Liverpool legend."
Owen said: "You can see people curling up and shrinking in a way and vice versa when you play well - you see people wanting the ball and making angles.
"It's never been any different.
I've been in teams that are low on confidence and in teams that are flying high and feeling invincible. Once confidence goes it's hard to get out of that rut. We need some confidence."
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