Reuters Soccer Blog
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After Newcastle United chalked up their biggest home win over local rivals Sunderland for more than half a century in October, crushing their biggest rivals 5-1, the first question manager Chris Hughton was asked was whether he thought the victory had made his job safe.
Such is the quicksand that the north-east club has been built on in recent years that even a result that once would have warmed their fans through the coldest of north-east winters proved only a short-term reprieve for an honest, straightforward, likeable and successful manager.
Earlier that week the club had issued a statement supporting Hughton following widespread speculation about his future in the wake of a 4-0 home defeat by Arsenal in the League Cup.
When they followed the Sunderland success by beating a full-strength Arsenal at the Emirates – with an earlier win at Everton and a 6-0 thrashing of Aston Villa also in the bag – one might have thought that Hughton had proved his credentials for a club desperate for some continuity.