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Football: I'M HOWAY THE LADS!; Robbo will walk when his contract is up.

Byline: Martin HARDY

SIR BOBBY ROBSON last night shocked Newcastle when he revealed he will NOT take a job as director of football when he steps down as manager.

It was expected that Magpies' messiah Robson would gladly move upstairs and work alongside a younger manager - probably Alan Shearer.

But recently knighted Sir Bobby, the elder statesman of Premiership bosses and who labels himself an "old goat", will finally walk away from football when he leaves the St James' Park hot-seat.

In an announcement that will stun the Toon Army, the 69-year-old revealed: "I don't think I will move upstairs. When I finish managing that will be it.

"I am not a manager who can sit upstairs drinking cups of coffee and making decisions. I couldn't do that.

"The moment I don't want to be on the pitch with the players every morning is the day I say it is time I went. I am out on the pitch every day with the players because I like it.

"One of the things I like about my job is that I am working with young players all of the time.

"That is my forte, that is what I like. Working out with young players keeps you bright and young. The players keep me bright, keep me sharp and alert."

Robson has admitted that at his age the clock is ticking on his managerial career... but the fire still burns brightly to end Newcastle's 33-year wait for silverware.

"My gut reaction is to keep on working, to do what I want to do. I realise how old I am but age is just a number.

"I'm happy and I'm with a great club I love to work for.

"I know people will be thinking 'what an old goat he is' but that's nothing new.

"As long as my health is good and I'm doing what I want to do and I'm successful I will carry on.

"The day our results go, people will say it is time for him to go... and I understand that.

"This is my last job. I won't go anywhere else from here. If I can finish on a silver note it would be great for everyone here."


TEA EARNER: I won't sit upstairs supping tea says Robson; IT'S ALL YOURS.. Alan Shearer is top tip for the Geordie hot-seat
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2002
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