Supermac "Don't Blame Freddy"

Last updated : 04 December 2005 By Footy Mad - Editor
Toon legend Malcolm Macdonald has backed wor Freddy to bring the glory days back to St James' Park.

Supermac: "It's now all down to timing and that means Freddy Shepherd is the key to United's future. He'll decide - prompted by fan reaction or whatever - when Souness should go.

"So let's get a couple of things clear about the chairman. He has always, always backed his managers with a massive amount of cash in the transfer market. If it's been squandered that's quite another matter. I'll tell you this - a lot of Sunderland fans think more of Shepherd these days than they do of Bob Murray for that very reason.

"What Freddy has got to do now is take a step back and think for a few moments. Don't produce a knee-jerk reaction. This team may be hopeless but it won't be relegated - a couple of rollickings could prevent that. So is it wise to chop the manager now or better at the end of the season? I know you wouldn't change captains when a liner is in the middle of the ocean.

"The biggest certainty of all is that Souness cannot be in charge of the player budget next summer. What happened to United at Wigan against a reserve side was nothing short of scandalous and was the last straw.

"Think of how far United have fallen - two years ago we were looking at winning the UEFA Cup, three years ago even reaching the Champions League final and four years ago we were competing for the Premier League championship in April. That's a helluva way to tumble down the mountain side.

"The sky has fallen in on Souness and United just as it had done before Sunderland came to St James' Park. It's yet another crisis and my message to Shepherd is to think hard and do what is right for him and the club. Because if he does it'll be right for the fans as well in the long run.