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Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Survival fight Kinnear's toughest

Joe Kinnear
Kinnear has just four wins from 19 games in charge

Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear has described the task of keeping the club in the Premier League as "the biggest challenge I have ever had".

Kinnear, 62, saw his side slip to 16th after Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City but admits the buck stops with himself.

"These are challenging times for me, and I can see why others didn't take the job," he told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"We have to bite the bullet and I'm responsible for taking it."

The Magpies welcome local rivals Sunderland to St James' Park on Sunday, arguably the club's biggest game of the season.

Yet with striker Michael Owen and midfielder Joey Barton injured in Wednesday's game and a host of players struggling for fitness, Kinnear is pondering a difficult selection process.

"I have to get some sort of team out, I have to face up to it," he said.

"When the odds are stacked against you who knows, but thankfully we've got our heads above water.

"I still believe if we had players back [the club would not be in trouble], with the calibre of the players we've got."

Kinnear has just four victories as manager at Newcastle, from 19 games in charge.

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