Hughton optimistic over Newcastle signings

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The Independent Football

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is confident he will be able to strengthen his squad this summer.

Magpies owner Mike Ashley revealed earlier this month that there would be no new capital outlay on players in the wake of promotion back to the Barclays Premier League, and there has been no further clarification of what that will mean to Hughton.

However, the former Republic of Ireland international is pressing ahead with plans to recruit the men he believes he needs to ensure the club remains in the top flight in full knowledge of the facts.

He said: "I'm very, very confident that we will be able to make additions from what I have been told.

"I'm aware of where the club is financially and I'm aware of what the situation is, and I am confident that we will be able to strengthen the squad.

"My job now is to make sure we go into the season with a squad that is able to cope with what will be a tough season.

"As I have said before, I do believe that we have the nucleus of a squad good enough to keep us in the Premier League.

"But at the same time, I also believe that we have to add to the squad, because going into the Premier League is a very big ask.

"I don't want to put a number on the amount of new players we need, but I'm confident there will be a few new players. We will assess it as we go along."

Hughton was predicting few changes to the squad long before Ashley went public on the club's spending plans and is adamant he will give the men who fought their way out of the Coca-Cola Championship the chance to prove themselves in the top flight.

However, he knows he needs additions in key positions and to that end, he has spent the weeks since promotion was confirmed casting his eye over potential targets and talking to managers and agents.

He told the Journal: "I have been talking to other coaches and managers and I have been taking a lot of calls from agents.

"I don't think anything will happen until late June or maybe even July, but we are doing a lot of work behind the scenes."

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