Hughton looks to rebuild confidence

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Caretaker manager Chris Hughton faces the task of repairing the confidence of Newcastle's shattered players as the club's season lurches from one disaster to another.

The managerless Magpies slipped out of the Carling Cup as holders Tottenham won 2-1 thanks to defensive blunders which leave Hughton and the remaining members of the coaching staff with a massive job to do ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn.

Hughton said: "Irrespective of what has gone on re: the club, when you are on a run of defeats, then it does affect confidence."

He added: "All you can do as coaches is pick the players up, look at the positives from the game - and irrespective of how disappointed we are at this particular moment, there are some positives from the game - and that's what we have got to centre our thoughts on now.

"We have a game on Saturday that I still believe we are capable of winning."

Whether Hughton remains in charge for the Blackburn game remains to be seen after former England boss Terry Venables confirmed he had held talks with the Newcastle over taking the job on an interim basis.

But Hughton was quick to insist a new manager would not inherit a dispirited squad.

He said: "What they will find is a great bunch of players that I couldn't have asked more of.

"They have gone through the difficulties of everything that has gone on, which are outside of their control, and applied themselves in the best way they can."

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