Axed: Chris Hughton(credit: Wikipedia
Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan has paid tribute to sacked manager Chris Hughton.
Hughton was axed on Monday despite guiding the club back to the Premier League at the first attempt last season, and then leading them to 11th in the top flight after 16 games in the current campaign.
And Toon skipper Nolan told The Sun: “Chris was gutted about what had happened. You could see that.
“But it said so much about him that, even though he was obviously disappointed to be going, he was still telling me and Joey (Barton) that we had to make sure we had a good season.
“There was such a dignity about the way he left, which is how he conducted himself while he was the manager.
“We have not had the greatest run recently. But we are half-way up the table and he was very confident we would still do well and spoke about how he believed in us.
“He said goodbye to all the staff at the ground and plans to come back and see the rest of the players to wish them well.
“We are all upset that Chris is going. He helped a lot of the lads here with their careers when he was a coach and then as manager.
“We will never forget our promotion from the Championship last season and we have to do what he told us. Stick together, make sure we keep the unity Chris has built up and get through this difficult period.
“It goes without saying we were shocked by the announcement. Sometimes at clubs, when a manager goes, there will be some players who are pleased to see the back of him, either because they are not in the team or they have a grudge against him.
“But everybody liked Chris. He was very popular, not just with the players but everyone who worked for the club.”