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Sky Sports confirm Neil Redfearn and Ben Dawson ‘will assume responsibility’ for Newcastle training

11 months ago
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Sky Sports have confirmed that Neil Redfearn and Ben Dawson will be in charge when Newcastle United kick off their pre-season preparations.

The NUFC squad are due back on Thursday, with the exception of some who have played international football this summer.

There will be no Rafa Benitez when the players report back tomorrow.

Nor indeed will be Paco de Míguel Moreno, Antonio Gomez Perez and Mikel Antia, as Mike Ashley has ensured that all the senior coaching staff will also be absent, having gone to China with Rafa.

Instead, Keith Downie who covers Newcastle United for Sky Sports, says that it will be former Doncaster Belles manager Neil Redfearn and the head of the Academy, Ben Dawson, that will take charge.

Redfearn spent a short temporary spell working for a month in Autumn 2018 with Newcastle’s reserve side, then two weeks ago was confirmed as the full-time NUFC reserve side manager/coach, with Ben Dawson in the newly created position of head of the academy.

No disrespect to the pair of them because they have been put in an impossible position but this is a disaster with only five weeks to go until the new season and just over  a week before the squad fly to China.

It is a week and a half since the club’s statement that Rafa Benitez wouldn’t be staying and it is crystal clear that they knew long before that they he wouldn’t be staying, Mike Ashley having had no intention of changing anything to try and convince Rafa it was worth staying.

Neil Redfearn was Leeds manager for six months from November 2014 to May 2015 before being replaced, whilst he then only lasted four months (October 2015 to February 2016) at Rotherham before getting the sack.

As well as coaching roles, his other managerial experience has been as caretaker boss of Halifax Town and York City and as manager of Scarborough, Northwich Victoria.

Though most recently, Neil Redfearn moved into women’s football and after managing Doncaster Belles, he later went to Liverpool Ladies but then resigned after only one game in charge, a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal. That was in September 2018 and he almost immediately then spent that brief period working with Newcastle reserves.

When the squad returns from that Premier League Asia Trophy, there will be less than three weeks to go until kicking off against Arsenal in the opening game.

Not surprisingly, Newcastle fans are currently finding it very difficult to see a happy ending to all of this…

As for who the next manager/head coach ends up being, after appointments such as John Carver and JFK in the past, you can never say never in terms of who Mike Ashley could bring in. Especially when his preferred set-up is a stooge who has no authority or say on transfer and is simply tasked with training and picking the team.

Whoever (if anybody) does end up getting the job, on a temporary or permanent basis, it is going to be an ‘interesting’ five or so weeks before the season kicks off.

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