Date: 31st January 2009 at 12:17pm
Written by:

With the derby game just 25 hours away, Joe Kinnear has issued a plea for unity in the camp as Mike Ashley returns to watch a game at SJP for the first time since the whole Keegan-gate debacle. With the team in desperate need of some support, the boss has asked that we focus on the team, not the turmoil:

“Mike has put his money into the club and is entitled to be given a chance. I do not think Mike has ever been disillusioned. He`s badly hurt and upset but he is desperate to come back and he will be here.

He bought the club when it was in the ?-. He has cleared the debts and paid a fortune in doing so. When every other club have been in debt for so long, we are not. I think the fans realize what he has done. Mike writes out a cheque every week to pay the wages. But he`s in a no-win situation.

He doesn`t buy players, he doesn`t do this, doesn`t do that, he`s obviously going to come in for stick. That is the way football is. Thankfully, it`s only a small section of the crowd against him but he is not daft enough to know what will happen if we lose.

But the crowd will be on the team`s side irrespective of individuals. They have to be a 12th man and get behind the team irrespective of what they think of me or Mike.”