FA Cup Exit? Freddy's Head On The Block Now

Last updated : 26 January 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor
Freddy Shepherd has heard the voice of the fans, and does he honestly believe Graeme Souness will suddenly make a U-turn and turn around the club's fortunes and win over the supporters? We have one competition left to strike some fervour back into the town, and we go into it with players openly saying the "confidence is very low".

Shepherd is reluctant to dismiss his coaching staff and so be obliged to fund a compensation package of £5 million, yet the feeling remains that an exit strategy is being devised. Having met Freddy on Monday for a brief round of coffee and biscuits, Souness claimed that the chairman was “supportive and behind me”, which had the Toon Army spitting blood.

How can this "crisis" be talked about in such a flippant manner? Obviously there is more passion in the stands than in the board room, and if we go arse-over-tit at Cheltenham on Saturday the chairman must stand and be counted!

Shepherd once again failed to give a public display of support for his under-pressure manager on Wednesday when he again refused to talk to the media. Despite newspaper reports this morning linking United with several transfer deals, we can promise you our "insider" at St James' Park says all transfers have been blocked.

Souness says he would like to be given until the end of the season to prove he is capable of guiding the club back up the Premiership table, but even if Newcastle don't qualify for Europe he will hang on for a multi-million pound pay-off.

Souness: "We need to prepare for this game properly. As I've said before, the key word when it comes to playing lower league teams in the FA Cup is respect and we will give full respect to Cheltenham Town."