Stubbins hails Cassio but rejects Carney exit talk

Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins has emphatically denied David Carney exit reports but says the Jets will look to bring in reinforcements next month.

The struggling club are believed to be close to releasing Northern Irishman Jonny Steele, who has been on compassionate leave since early November.

The departure of Steele will open up a visa spot for the club who won their first game of the season on Friday, with a 2-1 victory over Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium.

Former Socceroo Carney has played every game this season, in both attack and defence, and has claimed two assists.

According to radio program Soccer Stoppage Time, the former Sydney FC star – who signed a two-year contract with the Jets in May – asked for a release from the club last week.

But Stubbins rubbished claims the 31-year-old was looking to move on.

“The story about David Carney wanting a release is nonsense and not worth talking about,” Stubbins told FourFourTwo.

Meanwhile Newcastle have been linked to Reds defender Cassio, who has fallen out with Reds coach Josep Gombau.

Stubbins worked closely with the Brazilian left back during his time as assistant coach at Hindmarsh.

“Cassio is a fantastic player and one I have the utmost respect and admiration for,” Stubbins said.

“He has been a standout left back in the A-League for many years. We are hopeful of a January inclusion, yet at this stage nothing is in place. I wish him well in every way.”