Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce sheds light on his final days at Newcastle United

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

The Black Cats boss endured an ill-fated spell at St James Park eight years ago.

Sam Allardyce has shed light on the final days of his Newcastle United reign in his new book ‘Big Sam’ and claimed he was never given a real chance on Tyneside.

The Sunderland manager took charge of the Magpies in May 2007 following the departure of Glenn Roeder and set about building a competitive squad over the summer.

Mark Viduka, Alan Smith and Joey Barton were among those drafted in and despite making a solid start to the season, Allardyce found himself under pressure following a poor run of results around Christmas.

Discontent grew amongst the Newcastle faithful due to the style of football, as well as the results, and Allardyce left the club by mutual consent in January 2008.

“We lost three games over Christmas at Wigan, Chelsea and at home to Man City and the jungle drums were beating loudly,” writes Allardyce, in an extract published by the Chronicle.

“But we got a good draw at Stoke in the FA Cup third round before Ashley’s man on the ground, the chairman Chris Mort, called me into his office.

“Mort couldn’t look me in the eye and his head was facing straight down the table as he muttered, ‘I think we need a change’.

“I never had a chance once Mike Ashley took over… I wasn’t his man and he just listened to more vocal fans who demanded change,” he added.

Allardyce was just eight months into a four-year deal and was replaced by fan-favourite Kevin Keegan.

Big Sam went on to rebuild his reputation with Blackburn Rovers and West Ham, and now finds himself with arguably the toughest task of his career at the Stadium of Light.

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