Kenny Burns: Out of the chaos could come fortune for Magpies
IT WAS a bit of a strange one down at Meadow Lane with the Lee Hughes situation.
But I suppose, in the end, the fans are happy their hero has stayed put, even if some others are not.
A loan deal to Port Vale fell through when the League Two club failed to send the paper work in on time and by the time it came out on Friday, it was too late to do anything about.
The Magpies had brought Chris Iwelumo in on loan from Watford and prepared a statement to say one in, one out with Hughes going out to Port Vale.
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Now, they have them both at the club and are paying wages to them both, instead of freeing up some cash by Hughes being off the books for a bit.
Manager Keith Curle has his reasons for not playing Hughes regularly but as he proved nine days ago at Scunthorpe, he can still do the business. He bagged two goals.
And on the terraces, the 36-year-old can do no wrong as he lets his goals do the talking.
I mean, if anything, the deal falling through has saved protests outside the gates of Meadow Lane from supporters.
Now, having Hughes as well as Iwelumo still in his arsenal is no bad thing for Curle, it is just a headache for chairman Ray Trew and chief executive Jim Rodwell as they are now paying out more than they would probably like.
But Iwelumo can have a big impact.
He has played at the top level and not so long ago was doing the business in the Premier League.
He is a big lad, an awkward shape. He holds off defenders, makes life tough for them and on top of that, he is an intelligent player, he can play the game. He is not just a big thug, far from it.
Iwelumo is not just a target man, he can play a bit and knows where the net is and he can play a pivotal role for the Magpies, who had a massive win against Swindon to finally get back to winning ways at Meadow Lane.
So, out of the chaos of last week, Curle now has Hughes and Iwelumo at his disposal, once Hughes has served the final two games of a suspension. That is no bad thing.
The Magpies are in the promotion hunt and with players like Iwelumo and Hughes at their disposal, they will always be a threat.