Joe Kinnear plays down reports of unrest at Newcastle

Director of football insists his relationship with Alan Pardew is good

Joe Kinnear has played down talk of behind-the-scenes turmoil at Newcastle, claiming he and manager Alan Pardew are “working together - not plotting against each other”.

Kinnear's controversial summer appointment as the club's director of football was seen by some as an undermining of Pardew's position, which itself came under scrutiny as United battled relegation last season.

A large number of the Newcastle fans have dissented against Kinnear owing to a previous spell in charge during the club's relegation season of 2008/09 and comments made since his return, including claiming he had more intelligence than them and pronouncing several of the club's players names wrong.

A 4-0 opening-weekend loss at Manchester City and a 0-0 draw with West Ham have failed to silence the critics too, but Kinnear insists all is well at St James' Park.

"We are working together - not plotting against each other," Kinnear told the Daily Mirror.

"I don't understand where the negativity has come from - we are two games into a 38-game season and already the doom-and-gloom merchants are looking for a scapegoat."

Fans have also grown upset at a perceived lack of action in the transfer market - all while midfielder Yohan Cabaye is coveted by Arsenal.

They unfurled a banner during the West Ham game which read 'Joe Kinnear, the clown of the Premier League', but the 66-year-old is standing his ground.

"Alan Pardew has signed 16 players costing £60m in the last two years, Newcastle United's wage bill is now comfortably in the top 10 in the country, and he will continue to get all the support the club can reasonably provide," Kinnear added.

"Before the season started, we had sat down and agreed the squad was big enough, and strong enough, to finish in the top half of the table. But we are working together - not plotting against each other.

"There seems to be a perception, from outside the club, that we are at loggerheads, but I don't know why people are jumping on the bandwagon because it is a false picture."

PA

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