Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is hoping to stay at St James' Park for the long term after the club moved to end speculation over his future.
Within minutes of Wednesday night's 4-0 Carling Cup fourth round defeat by Arsenal, the Magpies issued a statement insisting that they intend to resolve Hughton's contractual situation - his current deal is due to expire at the end of this season - by the turn of the year.
Speaking after being told of the statement, Hughton said: "I have been at this club now for two and a half years and I have got to know everybody very well. I have very much enjoyed my time here and I am very, very happy here and would like to stay here for as long as possible."
Hughton took up the reins at St James' on a caretaker basis last summer with the club in disarray in the wake of relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
Against the odds, he dragged a depleted squad back into the top flight as Championship winners having been rewarded with a permanent contract.
However, talks over a new deal have stalled and the subject has been raised repeatedly at the manager's press conferences in recent weeks, but with no reports of progress.
That has simply served to fuel the tide of rumours, and the club will hope Wednesday night's statement puts the matter to bed for the time being at least.
For Hughton, the speculation has proved frustrating, but he insists it has not deflected him from his mission.
He said: "One thing it doesn't do, it doesn't deter me from the job that I am doing.
"Is it a help? Of course it's not a help; is it something I welcome? Of course it is not something I welcome. But one thing can guarantee it doesn't do, it doesn't take my focus off the big job that I am employed here to do."
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