Kinnear ordered to 'chill'

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has been ordered to "chill out" as he continues his recovery from heart surgery.

Managing director Derek Llambias today revealed the 62-year-old has been in touch repeatedly since being discharged from hospital at the weekend affter undergoing a triple by-pass.

However, Llambias, who has also confirmed that Kinnear will not be replaced - either permenently or temporarily - as he recuperates from the operation, has told him he must relax and let assistants Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood take the strain.

He said: "Joe was on the phone for about one and a half hours to Chris on Saturday.

"Chris and Colin will talk to him on a regular basis. Unless they cut the phone lines around his house, there's no way he won't communicate.

"He phoned me at 11pm on Saturday night because he needed some information. The next morning he was back on the phone to Chris for two hours. He then rang me again.

"I have had to tell him he is meant to be resting. It's the way Joe is. He has to learn that for two or three weeks he has to calm down and take it easy. He is always on the phone, looking at stats and talking to the team.

"He has to learn that for two or three weeks, he has to calm down and take it easy. He's passionate and he cares - he gets what Newcastle is all about. I hope he grows on everybody. He's an honest fella and he loves the club.

"The thing with the manager is, we are backing him. He's back on board. He's got to make a good recovery and he's got to take it easy. He needs to chill out."

Speculation has been rife since the extent of Kinnear's heart problem emerged that he would be replaced, either by a stop-gap appointment such as Terry Venables, or on a permanent basis by the likes of Wigan's Steve Bruce.

However, having seen Hughton and Calderwood guide the Magpies to a 3-2 Barclays Premier League win at West Brom just hours after the manager had been admitted to hospital, and then a 0-0 home draw with Everton on Sunday despite Kevin Nolan's 43rd-minute dismissal, the regime at St James' Park is confident the team is in good hands.

Llambias said: "Chris has done a good job. He is full of confience. Colin is in there helping us and Joe is still in the background.

"We are happy with that situation, and that will take us through until the end of the season.

"Chris is a thorough football man and a highly-respected coach. The players are full of respect for him and Colin Calderwood."

Newcastle today announced average reductions of nine percent in season ticket prices for the next campaign as they attempt to address the gulf which has gorwn between the club and fans since owner Mike Ashley staged his buy-out.

The multi-millionaire has re-appeared on Tyneside in recent weeks and despite a group of fans staging a protest against events on and off the field at the weekend, Llambias revealed his is delighted to be back.

He said: "This is his passion. He's a football supporter generally.

"He loves Newcastle. I can't remember when he went out before or after a game. He misses that. He loved being out in the Toon after games.

"Even during the time he wasn't coming to matches, he was at his local pub kicking every ball in front of the TV."

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