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Newcastle players respected Chris Hughton - Steve Howey

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Hughton can be proud - Howey

Former Newcastle defender Steve Howey says Chris Hughton's successor as Magpies boss will have a tough task to win over the players at St James' Park.

Hughton's dismissal on Monday saw senior players such as Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez and Sol Campbell express support for the 51-year-old.

"It's difficult for anyone to go into a club where the manager who just left was liked," Howey told BBC Look North.

"Players loved him and I don't think any manager could have done better."

Chairman Mike Ashley has been criticised by pundits and supporters for his decision to part company with Hughton, despite the Londoner leading the club to promotion from the Championship and to 11th in the Premier League this term.

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"Does [Ashley] care?," Howey continued. "That's the thing. From the things he's done in the past, [it appears] he hasn't got the club's or the fans' interest at heart.

"Obviously you would have thought somebody that did care about the club, wouldn't have made those decisions.

"Is he liked anyway? He knows the fans don't like him and that has been made obvious."



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