Newcastle appoint Kinnear

Former Wimbledon, Luton Town and Nottingham Forest manager Joe Kinnear has agreed to step into the Newcastle United hot-seat until the end of next month, the Premier League club has announced.

The unexpected deal with the 61-year-old came after former England coach Terry Venables rejected the opportunity to plug the gap left by Kevin Keegan's departure.

Club owner Mike Ashley is reluctant to appoint a permanent successor to Keegan for fear it could undermine his efforts to find a buyer.

In a statement describing Kinnear as "vastly-experienced", Newcastle said the former Tottenham and Ireland defender "has agreed to take temporary charge of first team affairs at St. James' Park until the end of October".

Kinnear inherits a team that have lost their last four matches, are currently second-bottom of the Premier League and will be without key forward Obafemi Martins for the duration of his month in charge. He was, nevertheless, optimistic about turning the club's fortunes around.

I am very excited about the challenge in front of me at Newcastle United. Results have not been great of late, but there is a lot of quality in the squad
Joe Kinnear on becoming interim manager of Newcastle United.

"and I am very confident the players are capable of climbing the league table," he said.

"Newcastle United is a great club. When I was in charge of Wimbledon I always remember the passion of the fans up there and how great a stadium St. James' Park is. It is a big challenge but one I am really looking forward to."

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