Kinnear earmarks Spurs return

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Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear has targeted a return to the hotseat next month following heart surgery.

The 62-year-old, who suffered a heart attack that forced him to quit as Wimbledon manager in 1999, felt unwell before Newcastle's 3-2 win at West Brom last month and was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. He then underwent a triple heart bypass and is now recovering after being fitted with a pacemaker.

"It was a serious operation. It has not been easy coming back but I am getting stronger on my feet every day," Kinnear told The Sun. "I've still got 80 stitches inside my chest so they have to come out before I can get back to work. Oh, and an amazing scar that goes from my neck down to my toes."

He added: "They had to saw into my chest, take arteries out of one of my legs and deflate and reflate my lungs.

"But I don't feel bitter - just annoyed and frustrated I am sat here watching endless tapes of matches when I would rather be out there helping my club.

"The doctors say you should have 10 weeks' rest after the operation and I've had to be patient and started with 10-minute walks. But now I'm bombing around the park for half an hour at a time.

"If all goes to plan and I continue to make the same progress, I'm assuming the specialist will give me the okay and it will be all-clear for the Tottenham game on April 18."

Newcastle have failed to pull away from the bottom of the Premier League table in Kinnear's absence and face a fight to preserve their top-flight status.

But Kinnear is confident they can survive, and is still hoping to be at the helm come next season.

He continued: "We'll be safe if we win our home games. It looks like a big name could go down but it's in our hands."

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