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Kinnear in swipe at Toon Army

Joe Kinnear has risked alienating Newcastle United fans further by claiming to have "more intelligence than them".

Last Updated: 18/06/13 at 12:09 Post Comment

Joe Kinnear: Took a swipe at Newcastle fans

Joe Kinnear: Took a swipe at Newcastle fans

The 66-year-old revealed on Sunday that he is back at the club as director of football, returning to St James Park where he spent a short spell as manager in the 2008-09 season.

Newcastle have yet to officially announce the news but their fans have been quick to voice their dissent, with one fanzine editor saying it made his club a laughing stock.

Kinnear's first time on Tyneside was overshadowed by a foul-mouthed rant at journalists, accusing them of having an agenda against him and, while he returned to his grudge against the media on Monday night, he hit out at the fans as well.

When asked by talkSPORT what he would say to unhappy fans, he said: "To all the fans who don't agree with this decision, shall I bring (Derek) Llambias (managing director) back in?. What do you want? What do they want?

"I heard a silly comment of 'what can I attract?' I can open the door to any manager in the world, anyone, that's the difference. I've spent my whole life talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out, what would you do?

"I can pick the phone up at any time of the day and speak to Arsene Wenger, any manager in the league. In all the divisions.

"I don't know what angle they've got, if they want to sit down and argue with me... Some are talking out of their backsides, a load of tosh. I'm not accepting it, as simple as that. I have certainly got more intelligence than them, that's for sure."

Kinnear's initial announcement in a Sky Sports News interview caused surprise in the game. While his time in the dugout was ended by a heart problem, results on the field contributed to the club's relegation from the Premier League.

United's fans have reacted accordingly but Kinnear, who struggled with some Newcastle players' names as well as Llambias on talkSPORT, added: "I'm a bit surprised.

"There's a certain section, exactly the same when I got there. I got over 10,000 letters when I had my heart attack, I felt very proud of that and thought I did an excellent job.

"A lot of Geordies are influenced by the media set, because I stood up to 100 journalists that night. It was the same night we beat Tottenham 2-1, the journalists always had it in, many of the Geordie fans were sucked in."

Kinnear went on to defend his record as a manager, adding: "I look at my record and they keep saying to me 'what did I do?'. Where have these people been, on another planet? I've been manager of the year three times, travelled the world as a manager.

"This job came up, a responsible job. Already they're jumping on the bandwagon, 'watch out Pards' (United manager Alan Pardew) but that's the snidey press around that area that have a grudge. I expect it, it's water off a duck's a***."

Kinnear, who made his name as a manager at Wimbledon as part of the 'Crazy Gang', went on to underline that he does not see his presence as a threat to Pardew.

"This is not about some of the crap about me coming in and taking over. It's nonsense. I read an article saying 'watch over your shoulder Pards'. What a load of crap and they're feeding it to the Geordie fans. I hope they're not daft enough to believe it."

Approved

Kinnear insist his shock appointment was approved by Pardew, and the former Wimbledon boss is adamant they can form a good working relationship.

"Before I had a meeting with Mike (Ashley), Derek (Llambias) said he's informed Alan, and Alan said 'Great news - I'm delighted with that. At last I've got somebody who's a football guy'," Kinnear said.

"I have the utmost respect for him and I cannot see any problems between the two of us. I am not the type of guy who causes problems for the sake of it. I want the best for all of us."

The 66-year-old former Magpies manager met with the club's owner Mike Ashley on Sunday to sign the agreement and told Sky Sports News he will deal mainly with player recruitment and transfers, on which he will have the final say.

And he has been quick to get involved by insisting France international Yohan Cabaye is not for sale. Cabaye has been strongly linked with a move away from St James' Park, with a return to his homeland mooted.

Cabaye has done little to curb the speculation by publicly welcoming links to Manchester United and Monaco.

Newcastle are, however, reluctant to part with players considered to be integral to their future.

Kinnear told the Evening Chronicle: "He will stay. We've got him under contract and we want to keep all of our top players here. We don't feel we have to sell our top stars.

"The only players we will move on are the ones that are coming up short. You can't have that at a massive football club like this.

"We will have to move them on. We can't have mediocre players at Newcastle United. But we won't be selling our best players."

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