Freddy Shepherd: What Mike Ashley has come to realise at Newcastle

Mike Ashley at Tup Tup Palace

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd feels Mike Ashley has learned the truth about something special to the club and the fans.

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd told talkSPORT what he feels Mike Ashley has come to realise about the club.

Shepherd feels that Ashley, who has stepped down from the Newcastle board, now appreciates how important the domestic cup competitions are at the club.

It’s an encouraging statement considering the club’s new manager Steve McClaren has made it clear he wants to target a trophy in his first season at the Magpies, as confirmed by The Guardian.

“I think the fans have been really upset over the last few years – I think he’s (Ashley) come to realise now that the cups are important to Newcastle, especially the FA and what it means – I think he’s realised what the truth is,” he said.

If McClaren feels he’s under pressure to win some silverware next season, his two best options are arguably the FA Cup and the League Cup.

Neither of those competitions will be easy or simple for the club to win, but they are the best chances of silverware considering the format of each competition.

The more immediate aims for McClaren will be to improve the squad over the summer and to get fans genuinely excited about the Magpies again.

The club’s board need to back him fully over any player he feels he needs, because the back end of last season exposed the lack of depth in the current squad.

Some of the team’s performances under John Carver last season were simply poor so it shouldn’t be too difficult for McClaren to get the side playing a brand of football which is easier on the eye.

Newcastle certainly look as though they’ll start next season in better shape than they finished the last.

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