Under-fire Kinnear brings in Francis as 'another voice'

Joe Kinnear's first major decision at Newcastle United is to ask Gerry Francis to help with the coaching at St James' Park. Francis, 56, has been out of management since his last post at Bristol Rovers seven years ago but is expected to appear at Newcastle's Benton training ground for the first time next week.

It is understood that Francis will work only two days a week at Newcastle and that he will not displace Chris Hughton, who continues to act as assistant manager. The inevitably short-term appointment is being seen as "another voice" giving input at training, though it will also be seen as another London voice.

Kinnear has received some fresh criticism for his tirade against the local written press on Thursday and that it has come from Sir Bobby Robson will not help Kinnear. "I think the anger was genuine," Robson said, "but he [Kinnear] needs to be bigger than that. I found it all a bit unsavoury and in my view he let the club down."

"If he hoped the confrontation would motivate his players, I'm not sure it will work," the former Newcastle manager added. "Senior professionals like Shay Given, Damien Duff and Michael Owen aren't suddenly going to become inspired by their manager swearing at some reporters. To them it's irrelevant."

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