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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 07:34 GMT
Wise reports to me insists Keegan
Kevin Keegan and Dennis Wise
Keegan wants to make it clear he is the boss of Wise
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan has insisted new executive director Dennis Wise will be under his command.

Wise has been brought in to assist the board on football matters, and Keegan has moved to dispel any confusion over the hierarchical structure of the club.

He said: "I am all for the changes and I approve of them. They want someone on the board who understands football, and Dennis understands football very well.

"It will work very well. Dennis reports to me - the chain is established."

Magpies chairman Chris Mort has stressed that Wise, 41, will have no day-to-day involvement with the playing squad, but will concentrate on areas such as player recruitment and the development of the academy.

And Keegan - who saw Newcastle lose 3-0 at Arsenal in the Premier League on Tuesday, a repeat of the sides' FA Cup result three days earlier - believes the policy can pay dividends.

He said: "The club has become slightly fragmented. From my point of view, it's a positive thing - provided I get all the help I need.

I know Dennis. I know he's intelligent. I know his job here is to help me. He's on my side

Kevin Keegan

"I know what Dennis is going to do, and the idea in principle is good - to look for new players, to bring youngsters through and do things which our academy isn't doing so much at the moment."

Keegan also revealed he was involved in the appointment after speaking to owner Mike Ashley before he returned as manager.

"I knew about it. It's not a surprise to me, it might be to other people," Keegan told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Two or three names were given to me when I first sat down and talked about the job with the owner. One of them was Dennis.

"I know Dennis. I know he's intelligent. I know his job here is to help me. He's on my side.

"How can any manager be against someone who is going to come to the club to try to bring in talent?

"It's right for this football club. A lot of people outside might be shocked about it. I think in the long term it's the right decision. It's something that needs to be done."

Certainly Newcastle are in dire need of a shake-up, as they hover only seven points off the Premier League relegation places.

The return on Tuesday of Joey Barton, who has been bailed from prison after he was charged with assault and affray last month, could not lift Newcastle.


But Keegan was eager to put a positive spin on the situation.

"I think Joey will be delighted just to get out there and play football," he said. "All Joey has got to do now is let his football do the talking.

"He's got a lot of energy. He's got something he can give to us that probably not many players at the club can give.

"He can become a very important player for us, but he can only become important for us if he conducts himself properly both on and off the football pitch."

Keegan also took time to praise struggling striker Michael Owen, who has suffered through injury and has scored only one goal for Newcastle since October.

"Michael is fit now," Keegan said. "We mustn't judge him on playing in this team at the moment because we are not creating anything for him."

Keegan added that he expected Owen to be named in England's squad to face Switzerland next Wednesday.

"I don't think there is any doubt about that," he said.

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