Newcastle boss Hughton admits challenge of difficult week

Chris Hughton is confident Newcastle will emerge stronger from their latest difficult week back in the top flight.

The Magpies' relief at a late fightback against Wigan to snatch a 2-2 draw and avoid a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat soon dissipated when it emerged that 21-year-old striker Andy Carroll had spent a night in a police cell and is facing a charge of assault.

Add to that the departure of assistant Colin Calderwood for the vacant manager's job at Hibernian, and it amounts to a difficult time for former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland defender Hughton.

He said: "They are testing times, the obvious and of course results and wanting to win football matches.

"But these are periods you have to go through and certainly at this football club, we have been able to go through these periods and if anything, it has made us stronger as an outfit and stronger as a team.

"I see no reason why we can't do that again."

Carroll appeared before magistrates on Monday charged with attacking an ex-girlfriend - an accusation he denies - providing his club with an unwelcome distraction.

Hughton said: "From my point of view and the club's point of view, these are the things we have to deal with and we have to deal with them in the appropriate manner.

"It is a different era these days and these are the things you have to deal with."

However, asked if Carroll will be in the right frame of mind to play in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham if selected, Hughton said: "With Andy, he has concentrated very much on his football.

"He is a strong-minded individual and I am quite sure he will be in the right frame of mind to play football, quite sure."

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