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NEWCASTLE UNITED striker James Coppinger has committed himself to the club by signing a three-year contract.

The 19-year-old is highly-rated in the North East and has thrived under the guidance of the former England manager.

Coppinger was farmed out on loan to Hartlepool last season, and it appears that this spell at Victoria Park helped the forward.

Robson confirmed this, saying: "Going to Hartlepool was a great experience for Coppinger. It was the right thing for us to do.

"It got him used to the physical battles and it has toughened him up. He has come back tougher and stronger and fully deserves his new contract."

Coppinger, who joined from Darlington in 1998, is the second player to commit himself to the Magpies in recent days, after Aaron Hughes signed a new deal on Friday.

Meanwhile, Chilean midfielder Clarence Acuna has returned to Universidad de Chile without signing a contract, but Robson revealed that he would continue to monitor the situation.