St James' new broom sweeps through backroom

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The Independent Football

Newcastle have terminated the contract of John Carver, who had been caretaker manager at St James' Park following the sacking of Sir Bobby Robson. David Geddis and Kenny Wharton have also had their contracts terminated after the new manager, Graeme Souness, acted to form his own backroom team following his move from Blackburn Rovers.

However, the former player and reserve team manager, Tommy Craig, has been retained. Souness informed the Newcastle staff at a meeting yesterday at his first training session with the club where he officially takes over today.

Joining him at Newcastle will be Dean Saunders, Alan Murray and Phil Boersma, all of whom he worked with at Ewood Park. Carver was in charge as Newcastle beat Blackburn 3-0 at St James' Park on Saturday, and he dedicated the victory to Robson but also admitted he was unsure as to what the future held.

Souness is to impose an alcohol ban on his players and will put a stop to weekend stays in London during away trips. According to reports, Souness is to hold random breath checks at the club's training ground in a bid to put an end to Newcastle's drinking culture which has led to certain players getting in trouble in the past. Fines will be imposed for any player that breaks Souness's rules. Souness is also to introduce training on Sundays, the players' traditional day off.

"The players have to realise, second to their families, football is the most important thing in their lives, nothing else matters," Souness said. "I have always been disciplined and I expect my players to be the same. All I ask is for them to respect team-mates, the club, me and my staff. If they adopt that attitude, we will get on fine."