Former Wimbledon striker John Hartson has urged Newcastle United fans to give Joe Kinnear his chance.Hartson admitted surprise at Kinnear’s appointment as director of football.

Former Wimbledon striker John Hartson has urged Newcastle United fans to give Joe Kinnear his chance.

Hartson admitted surprise at Kinnear’s appointment as director of football.

“I was surprised to see him take up the role at Newcastle but I think the fans should give him a chance,” Hartson told talkSPORT.

“It’s great to see him in good health. Everyone is quick to forget this, but I think Newcastle would have stayed in the Premier League if he hadn’t had those health problems towards the end of the 2008-2009 season.

“Some of the things being said about him are a bit disrespectful. He is there for three years and, if things don’t work out, then you can turn round and say ‘he’s not done his job’ but until then, you must give him a chance.

“He’s been out of the game for four years but who’s not to say he’s been travelling all over the world scouting players?”

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