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Joe Kinnear hits back at disgruntled Newcastle fans

Updated: Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 12:07 | Comments

Joe Kinnear believes he was the victim of a media witch hunt during his tenure as Newcastle manager
Joe Kinnear believes he was the victim of a media witch hunt during his tenure as Newcastle manager

After reportedly returning to Newcastle as director of football, Joe Kinnear has risked alienating fans by claiming to have "more intelligence” than an element of their fanbase.

The 66-year-old has spent the last two days confirming he is back at the club and heads back to St James Park after a short but controversial spell as manager in the 2008-09 season.

Newcastle have yet to officially announce the news but their fans have been quick to voice their dissent, with one fanzine editor saying it made his club a laughing stock.

Kinnear's first time on Tyneside was overshadowed by a foul-mouthed rant at journalists, accusing them of having an agenda against him and, while he returned to his grudge against the media last night, he hit out at the fans as well.

When asked by talkSPORT what he would say to unhappy fans, he said: "To all the fans who don't agree with this decision, shall I bring (Derek) Llambias (managing director) back in?. What do you want? What do they want?

"I heard a silly comment of 'what can I attract?' I can open the door to any manager in the world, anyone, that's the difference. I've spent my whole life talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out, what would you do?

"I can pick the phone up at any time of the day and speak to Arsene Wenger, any manager in the league. In all the divisions.

"I don't know what angle they've got, if they want to sit down and argue with me... Some are talking out of their backsides, a load of tosh. I'm not accepting it, as simple as that. I have certainly got more intelligence than them, that's for sure."

Kinnear's initial announcement yesterday caused surprise, given the way his initial spell with Newcastle panned out.

While his time in the dugout was ended by a heart attack, results on the field contributed to the club's relegation from the Premier League.

United's fans have reacted accordingly but Kinnear, who struggled with some Newcastle players' names as well as Llambias on talkSPORT, added: "I'm a bit surprised.

"There's a certain section, exactly the same when I got there. I got over 10,000 letters when I had my heart attack, I felt very proud of that and thought I did an excellent job.

"A lot of Geordies are influenced by the media set, because I stood up to 100 journalists that night. It was the same night we beat Tottenham 2-1, the journalists always had it in, many of the Geordie fans were sucked in."

Kinnear went on to defend his record as a manager, adding: "I look at my record and they keep saying to me 'what did I do?'. Where have these people been, on another planet? I've been manager of the year three times, travelled the world as a manager.

"This job came up, a responsible job. Already they're jumping on the bandwagon, 'watch out Pards' (United manager Alan Pardew) but that's the snidey press around that area that have a grudge. I expect it, it's water off a duck's arse."

Kinnear, who made his name as a manager at Wimbledon as part of the 'Crazy Gang', went on to underline that he does not see his presence as a threat to Pardew.

"This is not about some of the crap about me coming in and taking over. It's nonsense. I read an article saying 'watch over your shoulder Pards'. What a load of crap and they're feeding it to the Geordie fans. I hope they're not daft enough to believe it."

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