Hughton learns lesson from testing times
Published 15:46 20/10/10 By MirrorFootball
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is confident they will emerge from their latest difficult week stronger for the experience.
Considering the circumstances in which Hughton's reign as manager was launched in the wake of relegation and a max exodus of big-name players, the events of the past few days may seem relatively routine by comparison.
However, the Magpies' relief at a late fightback against Wigan to snatch a 2-2 draw and avoid a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat soon dissipated when it emerged that 21-year-old striker Andy Carroll had spent a night in a police cell and is facing a charge of assault.
Add to that the departure of assistant Colin Calderwood for the vacant manager's job at Hibernian, and it amounts to a testing time for former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland defender Hughton.
He said: "They are testing times, the obvious and of course results and wanting to win football matches.
"But these are periods you have to go through and certainly at this football club, we have been able to go through these periods and if anything, it has made us stronger as an outfit and stronger as a team.
"I see no reason why we can't do that again."
Carroll appeared before magistrates on Monday charged with attacking an ex-girlfriend - an accusation he denies - providing his club with an unwelcome distraction.
Hughton said: "From my point of view and the club's point of view, these are the things we have to deal with and we have to deal with them in the appropriate manner.
"It is a different era these days and these are the things you have to deal with."
However, asked if Carroll will be in the right frame of mind to play in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham if selected, Hughton said: "With Andy, he has concentrated very much on his football.
"He is a strong-minded individual and I am quite sure he will be in the right frame of mind to play football, quite sure."
Calderwood's defection has left Hughton with a sizeable gap to plug following his contribution to the club's Coca-Cola Championship title-winning campaign.
The process of finding a replacement was launched at a meeting with the club's hierarchy yesterday - John Carver, Steve Clarke, Steve Stone and, more controversially, former boss Joe Kinnear have all been mentioned in dispatches - and the manager is keen to make a swift appointment.
He said: "It will be my appointment who comes in and it is one I don't want to take too long over in making my mind up.
"What I need to do is go through the possibilities. I have my own ideas and it is one we don't want to drag on too long."
Hughton will also hope for a swift improvement in results on the pitch, with the Magpies having slipped to 16th place in the table with eight points in as many games - a rate they hope will improve markedly in the next fortnight or so, with derby rivals Sunderland waiting in the wings after the trip to Upton Park.
However, Hughton insists he is not unduly concerned.
He said: "Whether it be this period of the season, halfway through the season or at the end of the season, these are the pressures you have to deal with."