Shepherd says Newcastle not playing as a team was key to relegation

Newcastle United were relegated to the Championship on Wednesday.

Former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has told talkSPORT that their very talented footballers not performing as a team was key to their relegation.

Newcastle United were relegated to the Championship on Wednesday evening as a Sunderland win over Everton secure the Black Cats survival.

It was the culmination of a disastrous season for them in which they have failed to perform under Steve McClaren and left it late to mount a survival attempt under Rafa Benitez.

Naturally attention has turned towards what is to blame for the club’s relegation, and Shepherd says the players not performing as a team was a key factor.

“They are very talented footballers individually, but not collectively - and I think the problem is they haven’t been playing as a team,” he told talkSPORT.

“There’s a load of people who can carry the blame, and Lee Charnley’s a great administrator but I think he needed help.”

It now remains to be seen if Newcastle United can keep hold of Rafa Benitez for what will be a tough season in the Championship next year.

The Spaniard has ben a huge hit at St James’ Park since his arrival, but has a well publicised break clause in his contract.

It is believed he would not fancy managing in the Championship, and if Newcastle could convince him otherwise, it would provide a huge boost to their hopes of making an instant return to the Premier League.

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