Hughton: Carroll will be in right state of mind to play

Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton has spoken openly of the "testing times" his club are going through, after an unfortunate coinciding of a poor run of form, some well-publicised legal issues surrounding the striker Andy Carroll and the departure of the assistant manager Colin Calderwood to Hibernian.

Newcastle have taken just five points from their last six Premier League games, and needed a last-minute header from Fabricio Coloccini on Saturday to save them from a home defeat to Wigan Athletic, who are no great travellers. True to Newcastle's traditions, their results have been consistently surprising: they routed Aston Villa at home before losing there to Blackpool, then won consecutive away games at Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge, before a home defeat to Stoke City.

Moreover, top scorer Carroll was arrested and charged with assault last weekend, and was only granted conditional bail provided he lives with the club captain, Kevin Nolan. Carroll is accused of assaulting an 18-year-old former girlfriend at her home, and has to stay with Nolan every night, except those when Newcastle are playing. The case has been adjourned until 10 January.

Hughton said: "They are testing times. But these are periods you have to go through and, certainly at this football club, we have been able to go through these periods and if anything it has made us stronger as an outfit and stronger as a team. I see no reason why we can't do that again.

"From my point of view and the club's point of view, these are the things we have to deal with and we have to deal with them in the appropriate manner. It is a different era these days and these are the things you have to deal with."

Newcastle can barely afford to do without Carroll. He was their top scorer last season, with 19 goals, and has four already this campaign, including a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Villa. He was rumoured to be on the brink of a full England call-up before sustaining an ankle injury earlier this month, so it is important to Newcastle that he should not lose focus. "With Andy, he has concentrated very much on his football. He is a strong-minded individual and I am quite sure he will be in the right frame of mind to play football," Hughton added.

Another problem for Newcastle is the exit of Hughton's assistant Calderwood, who has left to become manager of Hibernian, his first managerial post since being sacked by Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day 2008. Hughton is particularly keen to fill this vacancy on his staff as soon as possible. Plausible external candidates include Steve Clarke and Clive Allen, while among internal possibilities are Peter Beardsley and Steve Stone. "It will be my appointment who comes in and it is one I don't want to take too long over in making my mind up. What I need to do is go through the possibilities. I have my own ideas and it is one we don't want to drag on too long."

But on the immediate priority – the team's poor form – Hughton sounded relaxed. He knows that all teams go through spells of poor form, and is keen simply to start improving soon: "Whether it be this period of the season, halfway through the season or at the end of the season, these are the pressures you have to deal with."

Defender Sol Campbell will play no part against West Ham on Saturday after failing to shake off his thigh problem, but Nolan, who was rested against Wigan, is fit and Danny Simpson could be in line for a return to senior action after making a third appearance for the reserves on Tuesday following his ankle injury.

Meanwhile goalkeeper Steve Harper could return from shoulder surgery within four weeks after an encouraging visit to his specialist.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments