Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan hired Chris Hughton as his assistant Monday, hoping to strengthen the team's poor defense.
Newcastle has only two draws and four losses since Keegan returned last month for his second spell as manager.
Hughton spent 13 years as a player and 14 as a coach with Tottenham before being fired in October when the club dismissed manager Martin Jol.
The 49-year-old former Ireland defender will be expected to toughen a defense that has conceded 16 goals in the six matches, including a 5-1 loss to Manchester United on Saturday, since Keegan returned.
The Magpies have slipped to 13th in the standings _ only six points above the relegation zone.