Date: 1st January 2009 at 2:18pm
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After seeing in the New Year with a light sherry no doubt, JFK launched into full propaganda mode as he eyed up the Hull cup tie as the staging point for a remarkable 2009. Speaking to the media, Joe said:

“I`m proud of what we have achieved so far, and I feel we can build on it. I am only looking ahead and only look upwards, and I think we can get a respectable finish because this division is just so close. When I first arrived we had just four points.

We were 10 points behind Middlesbrough and 10 points behind Sunderland. We are making progress and I think people can see that. If you look at the situation compared to everybody else, we have pulled a lot of teams back.
Yet Kinnear kept it real when talking about his paper-thin squad and the constraints he must work within at St James`s Park.

We have been brought down to earth a little bit after the Christmas games. We could not chop and change a lot because of the injuries. Then we had a game against Liverpool that didn`t agree with us because we had a threadbare team out and we are up against it to get an experienced XI out at Hull at the weekend.

We had 10 players out over 48 hours, and whereas Liverpool had the luxury of making six changes, we were playing people who were half fit. I could have dropped in a few kids but you can`t just do that against Liverpool. The result has hurt us a little bit in terms of goal difference and it almost became damage limitation. But we can`t dwell on it any longer, we are only looking ahead to Hull City.”