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Police search headquarters of Newcastle owner

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct headquarters were searched by officers. Credit: PA

Police have searched Mike Ashley's Sports Direct headquarters in Derbyshire as part of their ongoing investigation relating to Rangers.

The Newcastle United owner has close to a nine per cent stake in the Ibrox club, and Sports Direct has control of their retail operations.

"We can confirm that officers carried out a search of a property in Derbyshire," Police Scotland said.

"As this is part of a live inquiry, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

A statement from the sportswear firm read:

The premises of Sports Direct at Shirebrook were visited by Police Scotland conducting an investigation relating to Glasgow Rangers FC and various persons previously employed by and or associated with Rangers.

The police investigation is not directed at Sports Direct or at any of its directors or employees. The police were seeking documentation which might assist the investigation.

Sports Direct has co-operated fully and will continue to co-operate in the provision of information that the police request.

– Sports Direct statement

Coloccini pleads with Newcastle fans to support team

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini insists his side do not deserve to be in a position where they head into Saturday's game with West Brom fighting for their Premier League lives.

Fabricio Coloccini wants everyone at Newcastle to pull together. Credit: PA

In an open letter to supporters published via the club's official media channels, Coloccini also called on fans to put their differences aside and cheer the Magpies to a vital win.

Newcastle go into the game two points off the relegation zone after eight successive defeats and with morale at a new low following the controversial aftermath of Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Leicester.

Coloccini said:

Today we are in a delicate situation, one that we have been through before, and it is one of the most uncomfortable situations in the world of football.Uncomfortable because this Club doesn't deserve to be in this position, a position that puts its status at risk.

Players and staff have come together in order to leave all past problems aside and to focus 100 per cent on the three 'cup finals' that we have left. I would like to make a call to all fans today to also leave aside all differences, all different opinions, anything that divides us as people who love this club.

– Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini

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Newcastle back boss Carver after eight defeats

John Carver has had a disastrous spell in charge. Credit: PA

Newcastle United have supported manager John Carver following eight straight defeats in the Premier League.

The dismal run of results leaves the club in danger of being relegated to Championship, as they sit just two points above the drop zone, but he will now remain in charge for the rest of the season.

Following the result at Leicester City on Saturday, there has been two days of frank dialogue with John Carver and senior players.

The outcome of those discussions is that the board, John Carver, his staff and players are absolutely focused on our current situation and the three hugely important fixtures that remain this season, two of which are at St. James' Park.

All parties accept responsibility for the current situation but are determined, together, to ensure this club - your club - retains its Premier League status.

That is the only focus at this time.

– Newcastle statement

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Pearce wants patience over Newcastle signings

Karl Darlow will move to Newcastle in the summer. Credit: PA

Stuart Pearce has urged Newcastle fans to be patient with impending arrivals Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles as they attempt to get to grip with the Premier League.

The 24-year-old keeper and the central defender, 21, were signed by the Magpies from Nottingham Forest in a joint deal for an undisclosed fee in August last year before immediately being loaned back to the Championship club for the season.

Well, they are both outstanding lads, without question. Their character is first-class. However, I don't think they are ready yet to go straight into the Premier League.

Both the club and the fans will have to give them time and encouragement. They are potential rather than the finished article.

Darlow more or less played in my first team regularly, but Lascelles not quite so much. He will require a bit more time.

However, from their point of view the move is ideal. They weren't about to play for a Premier League club staying at Forest, but now hopefully they are.

– Stuart Pearce speaking to The Journal

Newcastle players are an embarrassment - Shearer

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has described the current crop of players as 'an embarrassment'.

The North-East club have now lost seven consecutive games following their 3-2 home defeat to Swansea at the weekend and are now just five points above the relegation zone.

Alan Shearer has slammed the players. Credit: PA

"Have no doubts about it - Newcastle are now in real danger of going down," Shearer wrote in his column in The Sun.

"I didn't think so until Saturday but after that performance I can't actually say with any certainty that we will get another point this season.

"Carver himself has been getting some stick. But he loves the club and I know he is hurting.

"Why don't the Newcastle players start taking some responsibility? Because right now they are an embarrassment."

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