Newcastle soccer club fired manager Chris Hughton today as the newly promoted team sits in 11th place in England’s Premier League.
Hughton, who won the League Managers’ Association’s Championship coach of the year award for last season, is the first top-division manager to be fired this campaign.
The 51-year-old joined the club as an assistant to Kevin Keegan in 2008 after working at Tottenham Hotspur between 1993 and 2007. He stayed on at Newcastle under Joe Kinnear, taking a caretaker role when the coach’s health forced him out of the job. Hughton then took the top post in October 2009 after Alan Shearer couldn’t save the club from relegation.
“Regrettably, the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward,” Newcastle said in a statement on its website.
Newcastle has won only five of its 16 league games this season and lost 3-1 at West Brom yesterday. Other recent results, including a 5-1 win over local rival Sunderland, a 1-0 win at Arsenal and a 1-1 draw with Chelsea, weren’t enough to keep him in the job.
The team, which also let go goalkeeping coach Paul Barron today, didn’t say who would replace Hughton.
Hughton was with Spurs as a player for 11 seasons, winning two F.A. Cups and the UEFA Cup. He played 53 times for Ireland’s national team, including at the 1988 European Championship.
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