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Toon admit relegation fears

Llambias accepts mistakes have been made

Last Updated: 11/02/09 1:14pm

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Ashley & Llambias in discourse

Ashley & Llambias in discourse

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Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias has conceded relegation is a major fear but has promised summer spending if they avoid the drop.

While the club managed to land the likes of Ryan Taylor, Kevin Nolan and Peter Lovenkrands in the January transfer window, they were frustrated in their efforts elsewhere.

Llambias claims ambitious bids were lodged for Manchester City duo Elano and Michael Johnson.

They also sold Shay Given to City and Charles N'Zogbia to Wigan, but Llambias refutes suggestions owner Mike Ashley is preoccupied with cutting costs.

On the contrary, Llambias insists Newcastle remain a buying club.

"Relegation is a major fear for us too, but we did try to get the players the manager wanted in the transfer window," he told The Journal.

"We aren't a selling club; we're a buying club. We are out there in the market. We never said no to any requests. We tried to get Michael Johnson (from Manchester City) in all sorts of different ways.

"We tried cash and we tried players. We tried for Nedum Onuoha and we tried for Elano, but none of those combinations came off ... we will be going back in the summer for certain individuals."

Accepts mistakes

In a wide-ranging interview, Llambias also admits mistakes have been made at St James' Park, but revealed the 'Continental' management structure will remain.

Llambias added: "We freely admit we have made mistakes and we put our hands up. But now we're in a position where Mike is back on board and we're not selling the club.

"We inherited a bucket full of holes in it and we have had to repair those holes before anything else.

"We are trying to get away from dating (payments) so that we don't have huge amounts of money going out. We are trying to pay up front. People like (Fabricio) Coloccini, Xisco and (Jonas) Gutierrez - we own those players - but that wasn't the case before we got here."

As for transfer policy, Llambias added: "This Continental-style of football management was where we wanted to be and where we are now. It's been torn up at Tottenham - but for us, we still think it works.

"The realistic side of football management is that it's changing. You need to have the control of being more structured and knowing where you are going as far as picking players and picking youth is concerned. We felt that it worked for us.

"It broke down between two of our main characters. But it's working well with Joe (Kinnear) and, we hope, it will continue to do so. The manager still calls the shots."

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