This is latest Newcastle united News as one of the ex-newcastle united manager reveals claims of him having no regret leaving the magpies before the new owners take over the club.
In the summer of 2021, Chris Hogg’s abrupt and unexpected departure from Newcastle’s was perceived as yet another failure.
When Chris Hogg received an unexpected phone call from an old buddy, he had no intention of leaving Newcastle United.
His resignation was accepted within a week, and he left the North East for a new beginning in Milton Keynes with Liam Manning.
The future managerial tandem met as players at Ipswich Town, where they later became close friends when coaching at Portman Road a decade later.
After Russell Martin’s resignation on the eve of the League One season, Manning was named manager of MK Dons, and there was only one clear candidate for the role of assistant manager.
“We played away at Liverpool with the under-23s, and that evening I got a phone call,” Hogg told ChronicleLive.
By the end of the week, I’ll be in Milton Keynes, where I’ll be introduced to Liam as a member of the management team.
“It was a mad sprint, a mad dash where I had to have some really unpleasant talks with people with whom I’d built close ties both within the academy and down at the stadium.”
It came as a complete surprise to everyone, especially Newcastle. It was one of those times when I had to be honest and trust my instincts.
“I’d never leave Newcastle for anybody else.” I would never have contemplated leaving my football club job.
Liam was the only player in the league with whom I would have discussed the question.”
Hogg’s quick and unexpected departure was regarded as just another setback in Tyneside’s recent summer of unrest.
Newcastle had gone to unusual lengths to justify their transfer business, justifying the club’s ambition in the latter months of Mike Ashley’s reign.
It’s a long cry from the present atmosphere at the club, with expectations sky-high following January’s transfer activity and Amanda Staveley’s vision.
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The need to strengthen the pipeline to the first-team has been a persistent priority as the club’s ownership has changed hands.
Hogg was named as the under-23s’ head player development coach in February 2020 with this goal in mind.
The Longstaff twins and Elliot Anderson are the most recent exceptions to the pattern, with the majority of Magpies hopefuls unable to break through at the senior level.
It was also a ‘huge chance’ for Middlesbrough-born Hogg to return to the North East. He stated, ” “It was a significant family relocation, and one that I was considering for the long haul, expecting to stay for a while.
“The club was going through a lot of changes at the time. There had been some changes, so I came up to attempt to work with the guys to help them not just improve their football skills but also grow as individuals.
I wanted to get to know the football club and offer the academy and the age groups I worked with a sense of identity.
“For me, it was more about instilling in the young players the necessary habits and behaviors to become professional footballers, especially at a club like Newcastle.
It was all about trying to open up those paths between the first team and academy personnel, and to help the young players understand what it takes to be a professional, and to utilize every day as an opportunity to perform and give themselves a chance to make that step up.”
Hogg would spend the next 18 months working closely with academy personnel including Peter Ramage, a former United defender and current under-23s coach, and Neil Winskill, a professional development coach.
On a daily basis, the former Ipswich manager would oversee the under-23s program, working to implement an agreed-upon’set of values and behaviors’ necessary of young footballers making the’step up.’
“A lot of them will never play for Newcastle United, and it was around having that pathway open to give the better players an opportunity, and try and give them exposure,” he said.
But Stuart Hogg believes the club already have the right man in place to run the academy. Steve Harper was named academy manager on a permanent basis in July last year, and Hogg says it was a ‘big step in the right direction’ for the club.
Hogg described Harps as “a real good person and what he did bring to the football club was that desire to improve things”.
“It was quite inspiring to see someone care that much for the football club, and that rubs off on people and that helps energise and invigorate them,” says Paul Hartley, director of football at Derby County.
“He’s someone who really loves the game, and he’s somebody who really cares about the club.”
One month on from Harper’s appointment however, Hogg handed in his notice and swapped Newcastle’s academy for the dugout at Stadium MK. It was an abrupt end to the coach’s long-term plan to remain in the North East, but an opportunity he could not turn down.
Hogg agreed his switch to Milton Keynes on August 13 last year, a day before the Dons’ first home fixture of the season. I wasn’t looking to leave and I thought we were in a really good place in the academy moving into the new season.
The former academy coach had to hit the ground running, and the demands of his new role as an assistant manager in League One quickly became apparent.
Hogg said: “Coming in to the football club at the time we did, this season has been a really special experience. We’re a real tight-knit unit at MK Dons. Hogg has enjoyed watching Eddie Howe’s revolution from afar, and remains in touch with Harper and many of his former academy colleagues.
The Newcastle he left nine months ago is already a very different club to the one now plotting the latest stage of the rebuild, but the former coach is adamant he harbours no regrets over his choice to leave last year.
Hogg: There’s some tremendous people there, and I look for Newcastle’s results all the time. I will definitely look out for everything that they do. I don’t look back, I just wish the best to everyone who is there who I was lucky enough to have met and worked with.”
I follow them and will continue to follow them and the young players’ progress as they move on as well. It’s a club really once you join it and become a part of it, it becomes a part of you as well.
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