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

Newcastle Utd - Gate

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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