Kinnear sure of credentials

Joe Kinnear has insisted he is "head and shoulders" above his Premier League peers after officially starting work back at Newcastle.

Last Updated: 02/07/13 at 15:30 Post Comment

Joe Kinnear: Last on the Newcastle training ground in 2009

Joe Kinnear: Last on the Newcastle training ground in 2009

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The 66-year-old made a shock to return to Tyneside and the game last month when he was confirmed in a reprised director of football role at St James's Park.

He briefly managed the club during the 2008/09 season - a campaign that ended in relegation - but was forced to step down after being taken ill with heart problems.

Large sections of Newcastle fans were dismayed by his re-appointment, as well as his series of candid subsequent interviews, but after reporting for duty for the first time on Monday, Kinnear made a freshly bullish claim.

"Every top club in the land has got one (a director of football). We haven't - that's the difference," Kinnear told the Shields Gazette.

"The manager can't do everything. I'm probably the only football manager to be a director of football. I don't know any other ex-managers who have.

"I've been a manager for 35 years. I've been 'Manager of the Year'. I've won every award there is in football as a player.

"I think all those qualities put me head and shoulders above every other director of football."

Newcastle's last attempt to utilise a director of football, when 'executive director' Dennis Wise worked above then-manager Kevin Keegan, was a high-profile failure that saw Keegan quit and successfully fight a claim for constructive dismissal.

But Kinnear is convinced he can form a fruitful relationship with manager Alan Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr as the club seeks to put last season's relegation scrap behind them.

"Some directors of football have never played the game," Kinnear added.

"I'm lending my experience as a manager for all those years - 10 years at Wimbledon, two years at Nottingham Forest, two years winning promotion at Luton and, of course, almost two years at Newcastle. I would still be there had it (a heart attack) not occurred."

Kinnear was actually in charge at St James' for little more than six months before his health problems occurred.

His first act could be to sanction the departure of utility man James Perch, who is currently the subject of a bid from relegated Wigan.

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