Hughton salutes clinical Carroll

The 21-year-old, watched by one of his predecessors as the Magpies’

number nine, Alan Shearer, and England boss Fabio Capello’s

representatives, made the major contribution to a 6-0 demolition of

Villa on a remarkable afternoon at St James’ Park. Carroll scored

three goals during as series of cameo appearances during the club’s

ill-fated relegation season, but announced his arrival in the big

time in style as Villa felt the full force of his blossoming

potential. Hughton said: “What he has done is work hard to develop

his game, but we all know and certainly centre-forwards will know

it is about scoring goals. “He was able to do that last season – it

was something we asked of him, could he add goals to his game, and

in the lesser division, he was able to do that. “Now the challenge

for him is to do it in this division. “There are areas of his game

he can improve. How far he can go, that will be up to the

environment he is in and the individual himself, but he has the

attributes to improve even more. “For those who have been in the

game for quite some time, he is very much a throw-back. He can be

prolific in the air – he is certainly a handful for most defenders

he plays against. “But as all good and great goalscorers will tell

you, it’s not only about a contribution for the team, but they

would see it more so as putting the ball in the back of the net and

ultimately, he will be judged on that.” Newcastle’s romp grew from

unpromising beginnings with Villa passing up the chance to take the

lead within 10 minutes when John Carew skied a penalty high over

Steve Harper’s crossbar, and the home side took full advantage.

Joey Barton started the ball rolling with a 12th-minute piledriver,

and the home fans among a crowd of 43,546 were celebrating again 12

minutes before the break when Kevin Nolan made it 2-0. Carroll

opened his season’s account with a 34th-minute snapshot and then

made it 4-0 with 67 minutes gone before completing his hat-trick in

injury time following Nolan’s second of the day. A delighted

Hughton, however, insisted no-one would be carried away by a result

which raised eyebrows even on Tyneside. He said: “It’s a good day

for us, a really good day for us, but in the Premier League, we are

realistic enough to know that it doesn’t happen that often. “These

scorelines are normally reserved for your top six teams, so they

don’t come around too often. “We have to enjoy it while it’s there,

but my job and my responsibility will be to bring everybody’s feet

firmly back on to the ground.” If it was a good day for the

Magpies, it was a dreadful one for Villa and caretaker-boss Kevin

MacDonald, whose hopes of winning the job on a permanent basis were

done no favours as United States coach Bob Bradley expressed his

interest. MacDonald said: “I don’t think it changes my views at the

moment, and my views are that maybe by the end of next week when we

have finished all those games, I will be able to sit down and think

is it what I want to do or is it not what I want to do? “We have

got a big game coming up on Thursday which we have got to get back

up for to try to get into the Europa League. “One or two of the

young lads who have played three games in a week, maybe it was too

much for them, so I will accept responsibility. It was me who chose

the team.”