Kinnear keen on extended stay

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Joe Kinnear is determined to make his critics eat their words as he attempts to prove he is the long-term solution to Newcastle's problems.

The 61-year-old was last week confirmed as manager until the end of the season but is setting his sights on an even longer stay.

Asked if he felt he had something to prove when he first arrived at St James' Park, he said: "Without a shadow of a doubt. It was a massive task. People said 'you are going in at the wrong time'."

He added: "They were on the floor when I arrived here. They were second from bottom, they had lost quite a few games to teams they should have been capable of beating.

"They had been beaten at home by Hull and Blackburn, so there were six points dropped. We need to address that and get those back elsewhere.

"Since I have come back, I have enjoyed it. I have had a tough time, there's no question about that.

"I know I am not the most popular, I understand that, but you get on with life and it is up to me to prove I am the man that's right for the job.

"Come the end of the season, I might me celebrating, who knows?"

The Magpies were indeed in deep trouble the day Kinnear walked through the door having taken just four points from their first six league games - he watched the final one, a 2-1 defeat by Blackburn on Tyneside, from the stands - a run which had left them rooted inside the relegation zone.

A little more than two months and nine games on, Kinnear's side have tasted defeat only twice, painfully at the hands of derby rivals Sunderland and also at Fulham, although a return of two wins and five draws has left them sitting uneasily just above the drop zone.

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