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By ESPN Staff
Sep 7, 2008

Newcastle pressure is unique - Shepherd

Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd claims managing the club is one of the biggest challenges in English football.

The Magpies are in turmoil after Kevin Keegan quit this week citing differences with the St James' Park board.

His departure has caused uproar among supporters with many protesting and venting their anger at current owner Mike Ashley.

Shepherd, who sold to Ashley last year, told the Sunday Mirror: ''There is absolutely no doubt about it, the job of managing Newcastle United has become one of the most challenging in English football.

''There is a unique sort of pressure on Tyneside, a weight of expectation and a fevered intensity that I don't think you get in other parts of the country.''

He added: ''Now Mike Ashley is discovering what I learned a long time ago - the easy part of owning Newcastle is buying the club.

''All the ingredients appear to be there, but getting them to blend together has proved tantalisingly elusive.''

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