'Who's to blame in Newcastle's relegation in 2009'

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'Who's to blame in Newcastle's relegation in 2009'
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Former Newcastle United striker Peter Løvenkrands insists it was the players not turning up which led to relegation in 2009, rather than Alan Shearer's managerial incompetence.

Newcastle had just eight games to save their season when they appointed the club's record goal-scorer Shearer as their caretaker manager.

The Geordie legend put his reputation on the line when he accepted the task of attempting to drag Newcastle out of the relegation tailspin into which they had plunged as the season drew to a close.

However, the journey wouldn't have the fairytale ending Shearer wished for as the Magpies were sent down to the Championship after a 1-0 final-day defeat at Aston Villa.

But Løvenkrands, who signed that January, has defended Shearer's managerial stint which saw the club relegated for the first time ever.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes Fanzone, the Danish forward said:

Alan Shearer is a special guy and a legend. It's funny when I signed for Rangers, I was negotiating with Newcastle, Bobby Robson said I would be playing up-front with Shearer.

I ended up going to Rangers so coming back and having Alan as my manager was quite a cool moment.

Of course we were relegated at that time which was tough because I thought he was a good manager.

He was a great guy to work under and as a footballer, he knew what it was like and had a great understanding on how to manage players.

He was intimidating but that's just because of the respect we had for him, not because he was trying to be that way.

People wanted to work hard and do well for him. We did try as hard as we could. We had a lot of injuries but I feel we should have survived that year.

That relegation wasn't down to Alan, but down to us on the pitch. There were games that we threw away when we should have got the points.

That was the lowest point of my career. It was a hard pill to swallow and a horrible experience to be a part of.

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