Newcastle give backing to Hughton

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Newcastle insist they hope to extend Chris Hughton's stay as manager amid frenzied speculation that his days could be numbered.

Some bookmakers suspended betting on the former Republic of Ireland international leaving St James' Park with contract negotiations yet to reach a conclusion and his current deal set to expire at the end of the season. However, the club released a statement after Wednesday night's 4-0 Carling Cup defeat by Arsenal confirming their plan to retain his services.

The statement said: "Chris is our manager and will remain our manager, and it is our intention to re-negotiate his contract at the end of the year."

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