Ketsbaia throws hat in ring for Newcastle job

Former midfielder Temuri Ketsbaia claimed Newcastle United can "challenge" for titles as he put his name forward to replace Alan Pardew.

With Pardew having joined Crystal Palace on Friday, Newcastle are looking for a new manager and Ketsbaia has claimed he would love to lead his former club and insists he has no issue giving up control of transfers, which was a problem for the outgoing boss.

Ketsbaia, who played for Newcastle in the 1990s, has coached Anorthosis Famagusta in the UEFA Champions League, plus had stints in charge of Olympiacos and Georgia.

The 46-year-old coach reckons that is a good enough CV to take over at St James' Park, where he reckons the fans deserve success.

Ketsbaia did not win a trophy during his four-year stint with Newcastle, finishing his time in 2000 with 78 league appearances and eight goals.

"Newcastle is a big, big club with fantastic supporters that should always want to do better," Ketsbaia told the Sunday Sun.

"It is a club that is very close to my heart and I loved my time there. My four years were the best experience ever. I would love to go back, and I think it is a club that can be near the top of the Premier League and challenging. It is a club that can challenge, for cups and for Europe.

"It deserves to do well. Whoever gets that job, it is a brilliant opportunity. I would think that there will be many managers who want it."

While head scout Graham Carr's heavy involvement in Newcastle's recruiting frustrated Pardew, Ketsbaia maintained he would be happy taking on a more coaching-specific role.

"I don't think any manager has 100 per cent control any more. The game isn't like that," he said.

"I don't think it's a big problem. There are good players at Newcastle, so if that is the policy it is OK. As long as everyone at the club is working hard and trying to do well it is OK."

Ketsbaia left Georgia in November due to frustrations with the federation and a desire to work in club football again.