Keegan expects stars to stay
Magpies keen to avoid summer exodus
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: May 19, 2008 2:39pm
Keegan: Introduced changes
Kevin Keegan is confident that he will be able to retain the services of his best players this summer.
The Magpies boss knows that a number of his first-team squad are attracting admiring glances from elsewhere, but is convinced that he can persuade them to join his St James' Park revolution.
Middlesbrough and Aston Villa are said to be keen on James Milner, Rangers are chasing Alan Smith, and Blackburn are keeping tabs on Abdoulaye Faye.
With Obafemi Martins interesting Arsenal and Michael Owen seen as a possible replacement for Dimitar Berbatov should the Bulgarian leave Tottenham, Keegan could have his work cut out during the close season.
"Everybody at the club's been fantastic. I know there's stuff in the papers saying that players aren't happy, but I don't see that," the former England boss told the Evening Chronicle.
"I think they are happy at the club.
"I sat down with them when I first came in and said: 'What do you expect at the club? What do you like about this club, and what don't you like about it?'
"I took on board lots of things that they felt could be better.
"They bought into the new rules. They weren't written down, or anything.
"That's what we did, and that was the change around at this football club.
"Lots of little things. They weren't big things. Lots of little things coming together means players coming in happy.
"You might find a player not happy here, and he'll probably be a player not in the side.
"I'd be amazed if you get many players not enjoying coming in to this football club.
"They might not enjoy being out of the team. Any player here can always come and see me.
"If they tell me why they are unhappy maybe we can do something about it."