Sebastien Bassong hints he will leave if Newcastle United are relegated

21 May 2009 09:46
Aston Villa v Newcastle UnitedKick-off: Sun May 24, 4.00pm, Villa Park, BirminghamTV: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports HD1Radio: BBC Radio Five Live

Bassong has been linked with a move to Arsenal following an impressive first season in English football and the French centre-half's restlessness will have done little to raise morale ahead of Newcastle's visit to Aston Villa on Sunday.

 Related ArticlesToon army too generousSport on televisionPredictor: How will your team finish?Who will be relegated?Newcastle lose Sebastien Bassong red-card appealIain Dowie casts doubt on Alan Shearer staying as Newcastle Uniteds manager"In the case that Newcastle go down, then I would have to hold talks with the club after the last game of the season," Bassong, 22, said.

"Everybody knows that I am an ambitious boy, and playing Championship football never crossed my mind.

"You have to have a plan for your career, and playing in the second division would be a step backward."

The former Metz player, signed for £500,000 last summer, has another two years left on his Newcastle contract and interim manager Alan Shearer wants to the club to secure his services on a long-term basis, a feeling that is clearly mutual.

"I hope that Alan Shearer will stay, whatever happens on Sunday," Bassong added. "I understand that he likes the job and is enjoying his time as manager.

"Of course he uses his charisma, status and experience as a player, but it helps him transmit his message to the squad.

"Obviously some managers are more about tactics than him, but he makes you forget his so-called lack of experience as a coach thanks to his experience on the pitch."

Bassong has been Newcastle's best player this season and unfortunately for Shearer, he will miss the Villa game due to suspension after being sent off in the 1-0 defeat by Fulham last weekend.

It left Newcastle needing to obtain a better result than Hull this weekend to avoid relegation although a win could see arch rivals Sunderland overtaken should Chelsea win on Wearside.

Hull chairman Paul Duffen has claimed his relegation rivals have become too preoccupied with the prospect of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson fielding a weakened side at the KC Stadium.

"Squad rotation is something which has become part and parcel of big clubs playing multiple competitions," Duffen said.

"It's really hard to say what team a manager should pick on any given day otherwise you're going to start going back through the season and rewriting the teams where maybe the strongest didn't take the pitch.

"Integrity is very important, but this is the 38th game of a 38-game campaign and I don't think we want to start trying to pick teams for managers in the last game of the season.

"I'm just delighted that our rivals on Sunday are more focused on our opposition than their own at the moment."

Duffen continued: "Whatever team Manchester United put out it is going to be a very tough ask for us. They don't have an easy side. Even if they put youngsters out they could still field 11 internationals.

"Whoever comes out of that dressing room wearing a Manchester United shirt will play their heart out for their club. We need to do the same and be better than them on the day.

"I'm not worried about who other clubs are playing, I'm more focused on our game. We know that we have to focus on winning the game, all the rest of it is just noise in the system."


Source: Telegraph