Keegan's Newcastle regime rattled after Pearson quits as coach

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The Independent Football

Kevin Keegan's new Newcastle United regime was dealt a blow yesterday when the club's highly-rated coach, Nigel Pearson, offered his resignation.

Pearson, 44, has twice served as the club's caretaker manager but is understood to have become disillusioned with life under Keegan. Pearson is regarded as one of England's brightest young coaches and his departure will leave Keegan without a figure who has played a key part in preparing and selecting the team over the past two seasons.

Adam Sadler, the 28-year-old reserve team manager and former goalkeeping coach, will replace Pearson. The speed of change at Newcastle since Keegan's appointment last month has been remarkable with three major new faces around the club as well as the new manager. Dennis Wise has been brought in as Executive Director (Football), Tony Jimenez as vice-president and Jeff Vitere as technical co-ordinater. Many of those from Sam Allardyce's regime and even before then feel that they have been marginalised.

Pearson, who is also well regarded at the Football Association who made him Stuart Pearce's assistant with England Under-21s, has twice been in charge of the club: after the departures of Glenn Roeder and Allardyce. He is not the only one understood to be leaving Newcastle; long-serving player-scout Paul Montgomery is also believed to be on his way out of St James' Park.

Everton have dropped Nigeria's Yakubu for today's home match against Reading after his late return from the African Nations Cup. Yakubu was expected back at Goodison on Wednesday after Nigeria's quarter-final elimination by hosts Ghana but did not turn up until yesterday, Everton said in a statement.

The club's manager David Moyes, declined however, to reveal whether Yakubu, Everton's leading scorer, would be punished in any other way. "It is an internal matter," Moyes said. "Yak has been in this morning, I have spoken to him and he won't be included in tomorrow's squad." Yakubu's Nigeria team-mate Joseph Yobo was back at Everton by Wednesday's deadline. Everton made no mention of whether Yakubu would return to the squad for Wednesday's Uefa Cup first leg away to Brann Bergen of Norway.