The former Newcastle United boss we’re guessing you didn’t know was involved at the World Cup

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A former Newcastle United manager is involved at the World Cup.

With Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope, Callum Wilson, Bruno Guimaraes and Fabian Schar all at the Qatar World Cup, Newcastle United fans will keep a close eye on England, Brazil and Switzerland’s fortunes. And perhaps they should add Ghana to that list too.

If you already didn’t know (we certainly didn’t!), Chris Hughton, a man Magpies fans hold close to their hearts after he guided the club out of the Championship in 2009-10, is Ghana’s technical advisor.

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The 63-year-old stepped into the role in February, where he assists head coach Otto Addo, who is also a coach at Borussia Dortmund, and former Middlesbrough defender George Boateng. Indeed, Hughton has already helped Ghana somewhat upset the odds to get to Qatar after they shocked Nigeria in a qualifying play-off.

As part of his role, Hughton, whose father left Ghana to move to East London in the 1950s, attends training, contributes to discussions with the coaching staff and takes on some of the administrative responsibilities.

Former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images) | Getty Images

To progress into the knockout stages of the World Cup, Hughton & Co must navigate their way past Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

“It is difficult in a way,’ Hughton told the Daily Mail recently. “I’m confident in the squad and the coaching staff, but part of my role should be to be realistic. Not to dampen expectations, but to speak honestly.

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‘We are where we are, the lowest-seeded team in a group of four — and it’s a tough group. In my conversations with people, I encourage them not to get too carried away, but this is the World Cup. They [the federation] will be expecting us to do well. So will the country. It’s a cup competition and we have to be confident.

“One thing I’m confident of is the work Otto and the technical staff have put in. This team will be very well prepared and the players will give everything. We will have to play well and we’ll need a bit of luck. But we’ve seen in past tournaments that anything is possible for a country like ours.”

The most recent past tournament Hughton is referring to is the 2010 World Cup when Luis Suarez’s deliberate handball on the goal-line denied Ghana an extra-time winner, and a place in the semi-finals.

But if Ghana are able to match that achievement in a few weeks’ time, you can bet thousands of Newcastle fans will be delighted for former boss Hughton.

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