Newcastle have launched an investigation into an allegation that reserve-team manager Willie Donachie hit one of his teenage players.
The 62-year-old former Scotland international has been suspended while the Magpies look into claims that he was involved in an altercation with defender Remie Streete.
It is understood the allegations surround an incident involving Donachie and the 19-year-old following Monday night's Under-21s defeat by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The news came as the Magpies attempted to re-group after another eventful week at St James' Park which saw midfielder Yohan Cabaye and director of football Joe Kinnear both leave the club in vastly differing circumstances either side of a dismal derby defeat by the Black Cats at senior level.
Manager Alan Pardew found himself in the firing line as Cabaye's departure and Kinnear's failure to replace him, as well as the first team's 3-0 capitulation against Sunderland, provided fresh ammunition for disgruntled fans.
In the short term, Pardew will prepare a team further torn apart by injury and suspension for Saturday's tough trip to Chelsea knowing there is work to be done during the summer.
Pardew said: "I am very focused. We have a great group of scouts, led by [chief scout] Graham Carr, who have always been working in the background.
"We have got a list, as we did in the last window, and we will work towards that list.
"Obviously, we have got a lot of work to do because actually this summer, we have got a few changes to make.
"We have got a few players out of contract, we have got one or two areas that we really need to strengthen, so I don't think we are under any illusions that we have got a bit of work to do this summer."
Kinnear's exit on Monday night followed a second successive transfer window during which he managed to make only one loan signing, and it remains to be seen whether owner Mike Ashley opts to fill the vacancy.
Pardew does not know how the club's transfer plans will be implemented from now on, but has no doubt over the message he will deliver to Ashley when they meet.
He said: "The window is a long way away. I have not actually sat down with the board or with Graham to focus on going forward from here. But the most important thing is that it does go on.
"My message is always the same, it's about taking the club forward. We can't stand still, we have to go forward, so it gives us an opportunity to do that."
Newcastle will head for Stamford Bridge with midfielder Cheick Tiote set to miss at least two games with a hamstring injury and Fabricio Coloccini, Yoan Gouffran and Papiss Cisse still out, while Loic Remy serves the second phase of his three-match ban.
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