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Bernard: Souness killed Newcastle

Olivier Bernard remains upset over the manner of his departure from Newcastle United.

The Frenchman has been forced into retirement at 31 years of age due to injury.

Happy on Tyneside and part of a side which suggested it would end the most embarrassing trophy drought in England, Bernard left in acrimonious circumstances, angry with the club and furious with the manager who forced him out.

He told The Journal: "I wanted to stay. I was enjoying my football, but it all changed very quickly. I don't regret what happened. I left because I had to.

"The club stopped negotiating with me. Bobby got sacked, Graeme Souness came and he had completely different views. He killed the momentum and the team. He sat me down in our first meeting, said this is the contract, sign it now or you're out.

"He said 'I've got another player to come anyway, I don't think you're that good'. That player was Celestine Babayaro. I was really upset. I said 'you don't even know me, you've hardly seen me play.' He wanted me out and I went.

"Everything was perfect for me, Souness ruined it. He deflated everything and everyone left. He didn't like young players, he didn't like difficult characters, he ruined the club."

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