Hughton defends Newcastle selection after dismal Hull defeat

Newcastle United caretaker boss Chris Hughton defended his selection after their dismal 2-1 home defeat to Hull City. Two goals from City's on-loan striker Marlon King were enough to claim three points for the promoted Tigers at St James' Park despite debutant Xisco's late strike on a day when the action off the pitch was as significant as what took place on it. Mounted police eventually broke up a fans gathering more than an hour after the final whistle as the rebellion grew in intensity.

Newcastle United caretaker boss Chris Hughton defended his selection after their dismal 2-1 home defeat to Hull City.

Two goals from City's on-loan striker Marlon King were enough to claim three points for the promoted Tigers at St James' Park despite debutant Xisco's late strike on a day when the action off the pitch was as significant as what took place on it.

Mounted police eventually broke up a fans gathering more than an hour after the final whistle as the rebellion grew in intensity.

Hughton conducted his post-match press conference with the backdrop of a cacophony of noise - and was adamant that the men he selected were good enough to do the job.

Asked if the drama surrounding Keegan's resignation and the subsequent outcry had affected the players, he said: "The easy thing would be for me to say yes, the events of the last few weeks had a bearing on the result.

"Probably more to the point was we certainly have got a few injuries in vital positions, we had a few players coming back late from international duty, which is the norm that everybody has to accept and put up with.

"But the preparation with what we have got has been good. I can't fault the attitude and the professionalism of the players. That I can't fault.

"We had a starting line-up of 11 players that was good enough in my mind to certainly win the game today, but it wasn't to be."

Hull boss Phil Brown, born in South Shields and a boyhood Sunderland supporter, was understandably delighted by his team's performance and the result.

Asked what the win meant to him, he said: "Three points, seven from four, maybe getting one or two ***** off our backs that we were going to be automatic cannon fodder for going down.

"I don't know, I hope it doesn't alert too many people's attention to the fact we can play a little bit, because then all of a sudden, the big boys put the big guns out.

"But to me personally, it means I have come back to the north-east [and won] for the first time since 1985 when I left Hartlepool, and it's a great moment for me and my family."

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