Premier League

Harper: We did it for boss

Toon 'keeper reveals team pulled together for sake of Kinnear

Harper: Win was for Kinnear

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Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper believes that manager Joe Kinnear's recent health problems have brought the team closer together.

The former Wimbledon boss missed the Magpies' win over West Brom at the weekend with high blood pressure and he was kept in hospital overnight as a precaution.

But on closer inspection it was decided that the 62-year-old would need to undergo heart bypass surgery.

With Kinnear set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, coach Chris Hughton is set to take over first team affairs and Harper declared that the 3-2 win over the Baggies was dedicated to their boss.

"I spoke to him on Monday. I left him a message and he called me back and he was in good spirits," he told Sky Sports News.

Frustrated

"I think he's a bit frustrated to be in there because he's the sort of person who is first out on the training field and last off. I think he's fed up.

"He missed the game but we managed to get a win which the lads obviously dedicated to him with the job he's done. We all wish him well."

Despite waking to the news that their manager had been taken to hospital on Saturday morning ahead of a crucial clash, Harper reveals that it actually brought the squad closer together.

"When Chris Hughton told us on Saturday morning there were a few people in the dressing room who were saying 'come on he's (Kinnear) stepped in, in a difficult time, so let's just give it that little bit extra for him' and we managed to do that.

"Apparently he was being informed on the phone how the game was going and we managed to pull it off."