Silence of Llambias ends in claim Newcastle can be 'like Aston Villa'

Newcastle united Derek Llambias, Newcastle's managing director, spoke publicly for the first time yesterday, some eight months after moving to St James' Park.

During that period the club lost Kevin Keegan, was put up for sale, then withdrawn from the market, and appointed Joe Kinnear as manager, while the silence of Llambias infuriated much of Tyneside.

With owner Mike Ashley also reluctant to talk, one of the most tumultuous seasons at St James' has been played out to a backdrop of non-communication from those who own and run the club.

Llambias acknowledged: "Our silence is seen as contempt." He said that approach was "a mistake" and promised change. "In five years' time I would hope we would be challenging for everything," he added. "We hope to be like an Aston Villa."

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