Date:Sunday February 5 2006
Newcastle supremo Freddy Shepherd says he does not regret handing Graeme Souness the job in the first place - in the match programme; but later said he went against the supporters opinion and that was the mistake. So make of that what you will. Does he know what the hell he is talking about?
Shepherd (in the match day programme): 'When Graeme Souness was appointed team manager 17 months ago, we had high hopes that he and his managerial team would bring renewed success to St James' Park.
'Unfortunately, and despite a promising start, this ultimately did not happen. The exit from the Uefa Cup and failure to qualify again for Europe via domestic competition put extra emphasis on the need to do so this season, but from a challenging position before Christmas, we now find ourselves 11 points off a European qualification place with just 15 games to play.
'Injuries have certainly hindered the team in the past six months, but injuries are only a part of the football scene and other things had to be taken into account in the decision that was reached on Thursday morning.
'I would like to place on record this club's appreciation of the work that Graeme did in his time as manager here, but he has been in the game a long time and he knows as well as anybody that things can change rapidly in football.'
However Shepherd spoke to Chris Kamara prior to the game and said: 'I gave the fans what they wanted when I gave the job to Ruud Gullit, Kenny Dalglish and Bobby Robson. They wanted those managers. But for some reason they never took to Graeme. They didn't want him, and the hate mail I got was unbelievable. He had to go.'
Latest betting: O'Neill 5/2, Allardyce 9/2, Eriksson 7/1, Scolari 7/1, Shearer 8/1
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