Harper hails Hughton

Keeper backs manager for crack at Premier League

Harper: Praise for Hughton

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Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper believes Chris Hughton deserves the chance to lead the side in the Premier League next season.

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"Chris deserves all the plaudits. To pull together a group of players who were very disappointed last season and then to get promotion at the first hurdle means he deserves a crack at it."

Steve Harper on Chris Hughton

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Hughton started the season as caretaker manager before proving his credentials to land the role on a permanent basis.

Hughton, who was initially reluctant to take up the manager's role, has guided Newcastle back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and Harper believes the former Republic of Ireland international deserves all the plaudits for getting the club back on track.

"Chris has got to be given the opportunity to pit his wits against the best," said Harper.

"Every manager starts somewhere and he has started pretty well here in difficult circumstances.

"He has united a dressing room to achieve promotion back to the Premier League - and if that doesn't warrant a crack at the job, I don't know what does.

"Chris deserves all the plaudits. To pull together a group of players who were very disappointed last season and then to get promotion at the first hurdle means he deserves a crack at it.

"He has more than earned the right to manage this club in the top flight."