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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 19:05 GMT
Keegan gets down to business

By Sam Lyon

After all the furore, excitement and clamour of the past few days, Kevin Keegan's official unveiling as the new Newcastle manager was strictly business.

Kevin Keegan
Keegan cut a determined figure

By his own request, there was no repeat of the open-stand celebrations at St James' Park that greeted the arrivals of Michael Owen and Alan Shearer, meaning only a hundred or so fans gathered outside the ground to welcome the return of the "Geordie Messiah".

Keegan could have filled the stands five times over had he wanted, such is the weight of approval and expectation surrounding his appointment from the Geordie faithful.

But instead he opted to address a conference room packed to the rafters with journalists, laying out his blueprint for the future of the club in a considered fashion.

A Freudian slip from chairman Chris Mort to kick off proceedings, describing his duty to present Keegan as his "pressure" rather than "pleasure", betrayed the risk taken by the board to appoint a man who only three months ago vowed not to return to football.

However, despite the greyer hair and bags under his eyes not seen when Keegan was manager of Manchester City, the 56-year-old hit his straps as if he had never been away.

He talked of how he knew the club, knew the fans and knew the type of football expected of him.


There was the odd snipe at the media - not least over reports describing his period as City boss a failure.

But all in all it was a conference executed with good humour and a steely determination.

There is little doubt that the Newcastle fans will have loved what they heard; their favourite son talking about bringing attractive football - and trophies - back to St James' Park.

And if statements of intent win silverware, Newcastle can expect to fill their trophy cabinet to the brim in the coming years.

Sport correspondent James Pearce was there, and he said: "I've been to many news conferences in my career, but few have been as entertaining as this.

"Keegan looked relaxed, a cheeky smile on his face throughout, but ultimately full of business and intent.

If you think this place has been jumping this week, wait until the fans greet him at St James' on Saturday

BBC Sport's James Pearce

"It was quite a show and it was hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm as he waxed lyrical about his plans for the club.

"After three years out of the game he looks fresh - you can see it in his face and in his eyes.

"And the fact is that he has got the place buzzing.

"It is easy to see why; he is brimming with excitement about the job and, if you think this place has been jumping this week, wait until the fans greet him for the first time since 1997 at St James' on Saturday."

The Keegan show is most definitely back in town.

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