We are in a dogfight now - Hughton

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Caretaker boss Chris Hughton admitted Newcastle are in deep trouble after seeing them slip to a 3-1 home defeat by Arsenal.

The Magpies had earlier dropped into the bottom three as a result of wins for Portsmouth and Stoke, and after battling well for an hour against the Gunners, eventually succumbed. They sit in 18th place, two points adrift of safety and in severe danger of dropping out of the top flight for the first time since returning in 1993.

"I accept it is going to be a dogfight now through to the end of the season," said Hughton. "We are well aware of the position. We have eight games left, we need to get enough results to stay in this division and we need to get results quickly."

Hughton, who denied that owner Mike Ashley had spoken to the players in the dressing room after the game, also confirmed he does not expect another manager to be drafted in as the club awaits Joe Kinnear's return from heart surgery next month.

He said: "I have had no indication that anything will change.

"Joe will be back at the time when he will be back, but apart from that, I am not aware of anything else."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was delighted at seeing his side take the opportunity to close the gap on the three teams above them, although they remain 10 points adrift of Manchester United despite their 2-0 defeat at Fulham.

He said: "It was a good opportunity for us to take advantage of that and get closer to the top.

"You never know, even a chance out of a billion, we want to fight to come back as close as we can to the team which is top.

"We feel we are in a very good run and we are improving from game to game."

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