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Newcastle spirit buoys manager Chris Hughton

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Hughton hails 'special' derby win

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton praised his "spirited" players after they saw off local rivals Sunderland 5-1 at St James' Park on Sunday.

Reports had suggested Hughton's job was under threat before the club issued a statement last week backing him and talking about renegotiating his deal.

"I can't do anything about my contract situation, all I can do is the best job I can," Hughton told BBC Sport.

"I'm helped by a group of spirited players that are capable of anything."

The 51-year-old added: "They are playing in a very, very tough league and I'm buoyed on by them."

606: DEBATE

Newcastle dominated their north-east rivals from start to finish.

They were 3-0 up by half-time thanks to a double from Kevin Nolan and a Shola Ameobi penalty.

The Black Cats' day took a further turn for the worse when former Magpies player Titus Bramble was sent off for a professional foul on striker Andy Carroll, before Ameobi scored his second goal and Nolan grabbed his third.

Sunderland top scorer Darren Bent scored a late consolation.

Nolan dedicates hat-trick to family

"It's difficult to pick out one player on a day which was very special for the team," stated Hughton.

"It would have been special for the back four and keeper to come away with a clean sheet but Sunderland are a handful up front and we defended well."

Hughton also showed his appreciation for the home section of the 51,988 crowd, who turned up at St James' Park and sang their praises for the former Spurs assistant.

"The crowd chanting is a nice feeling - they're a fantastic crowd," he said.

"Anybody who hasn't been to St James' before now, knows what it's like now."

Meanwhile, opposite number Steve Bruce offered an apology to the Sunderland fans.

"The mark of any team or any individual is how you respond to it," commented Bruce, who supported Newcastle as a child.

Sunderland 'horror show' angers Bruce

"All I can do is apologise. When you get beaten as badly as that, here of all places, it will take a lot of recovering.

"Me, as manager, I will take full responsibility. Anything that could have gone wrong went wrong, from red cards to mistakes.

"I have been saying all week that we must handle the occasion but from the off, we didn't and we got blown away by a far superior team on the day.

"We were playing a big derby game and we had three or four players. To win it, you need seven or eight - that's what Newcastle had and we didn't have enough and we got our backsides kicked."



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see also
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day
Newcastle 5-1 Sunderland
31 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
31 Oct 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
31 Oct 10 |  Football
Newcastle stand by boss Hughton
27 Oct 10 |  Newcastle


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