Kevin Keegan has reportedly told Mike Ashley, Newcastle United’s owner, that he cannot guarantee the club will avoid relegation from the Premier League this season.
Saturday’s home defeat to Blackburn Rovers has left the team only three points above the relegation zone, and resulted in the Newcastle manager being summoned to an extraordinary meeting with Ashley on Saturday evening.
Quizzed about Newcastle’s chances of survival, the recently-appointed manager is believed to have told the club’s owner that nothing could be taken for granted. Keegan attributed his pessimistic outlook to Ashley’s failure to strengthen Newcastle’s squad during the January transfer window, the low morale of the players he inherited, and the team’s tricky fixture list until the end of the season.
Although Keegan’s position is deemed safe, Ashley is deeply concerned about the decline of a team that last won a league game on December 15, at Fulham.
Despite failing to secure a win since he returned to the club in January, Keegan received the backing of Chris Mort, Newcastle’s chairman yesterday.
Interviewed on BBC Radio 5’s Sportsweek programme, Mort said: “Kevin has got the players playing very well and I’m sure results will follow.
“Mike is fully supportive of Kevin.”