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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 15:53 UK

Harford backs Kinnear to succeed

By Simon Austin

Joe Kinnear
Kinnear worked with Harford at Wimbledon and Luton

Mick Harford has reassured Newcastle fans that their club is "in safe hands" while Joe Kinnear is in charge.

Kinnear, 61, was the shock choice as Newcastle's caretaker boss on Friday.

Harford, who played under Kinnear at Wimbledon, told BBC Sport: "Joe will make a big impact and rediscover the spirit and camaraderie at the club.

"He'll get them organised on the pitch and hopefully pick up some results. The players will enjoy working with him and run that extra yard for him."

Kinnear has been out of football since he resigned as Nottingham Forest boss in December 2004.

Yet Harford, who was appointed as a coach of Luton when Kinnear was director of football at the club, does not think this will be a big problem.

"Obviously it's a difficult job, because of the small squad and number of injuries, but I think Joe can make an immediate impact," the former England striker said.

I wouldn't have any worries if I was a Newcastle fan

Mick Harford

"He has an infectious personality and good to be around. Although he's not managed for a while, he has been involved in the game and has watched a lot of matches.

"He knows his way around the Premier League following his time at Wimbledon and I wouldn't have any worries about him if I was a Newcastle fan."

Kinnear suffered a mild heart attack in March 1999, when he was in charge at Wimbledon, and stood down as their boss three months later.

Harford says his old boss is "in good health" and fully recovered from his heart problems.

Kinnear's Wimbledon side were renowned for their direct and aggressive style of play, yet Harford does not necessarily expect to see this replicated at Newcastle.


"While I was at Wimbledon, we were tagged as a long-ball team, but we also had some of the best players I've ever played with," he said.

"Joe will look at the Newcastle squad, get them organised and get them playing a particular way.

"My message to the Newcastle fans would be 'don't worry. While Joe's there your club is in safe hands'."

see also
Magpies name Kinnear interim boss
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Venables rejects Newcastle offer
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Nigerians prepare Newcastle offer
26 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Keegan resigns as Newcastle boss
04 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Ashley puts Newcastle up for sale
14 Sep 08 |  Newcastle

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