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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Saunders joins Newcastle
Dean Saunders
Dean Saunders has left Blackburn Rovers to link-up again with new Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness.

Blackburn had wanted Saunders to stay as first-team coach, but the former Wales striker has followed Souness to Newcastle to take up a similar role.

Said Saunders: "Graeme has taken the opportunity to go to Newcastle and he has asked me to go with him.

"It's a great opportunity for Graeme and myself, so I'm really looking forward to it. It's a great club."

Alan Murray and Phil Boersma have also left Blackburn to work under Souness at Newcastle.

Blackburn have appointed long-serving Tony Parkes as caretaker manager for the sixth time.

Souness will take charge at St James' Park on 13 September, after Newcastle's game against Blackburn, although he leaves Ewood Park immediately.


As Blackburn now cast around for a new manager, the name of Wales boss Mark Hughes has inevitably been mentioned.

Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier is another touted among the early contenders.

Having played under Souness at Blackburn and finished his playing career there, Hughes would be an obvious choice.

But Saunders says he is unable to throw any light on that: "The clubs keep their cards close to their chests in situations like this, so I don't know.

"I think Mark is doing a good job for Wales at the minute and he'll have one thought on his mind - that's to rectify the result (1-1 in Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier) from the other night.

"Hopefully we can beat Northern Ireland and I know Mark - I played under him - will be really disappointed with the way we played.

"He'll be preparing the lads to put that right and if we don't put things right we're on an uphill slope already."

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