Souey's sadness at JJ exit

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As Newcastle prepare to line up against a former team-mate at White Hart Lane on Saturday, manager Graeme Souness admits that he had no choice but to reluctantly agree to Jermaine Jenas's move to Tottenham.

Souness revealed that he bought Scott Parker to St James' Park with the intention of partnering the former Chelsea man with Jenas in the heart of midfield but it was not to be, much to the chagrin of the Scot.

"I was a reluctant seller," said Souness. "When I brought in Scott Parker during the summer it wasn't as JJ's replacement because I don't think they are similar players.

"In fact, I had envisaged the two of them playing alongside each other in midfield."

Souness, who knows more than most about midfield play, remains a firm admirer of Jenas which is why it will be all the more galling for the Scot to see the 23-year-old in the opposition's ranks on New Year's Eve.

"JJ is a young man who will only get better," added Souness.

"That's why I wanted him to stay at Newcastle - but he made it very difficult to keep him."

Jenas revealed that footballing considerations alone made him take the move south and denied that he and Souness ever had a clash of personalities.

"It was something I thought would be for the best. There was nothing to it other than I felt my career would progress if I moved on," said Jenas.

"I felt I did it the right way by speaking quietly away from the public - that is the way  I think things should be done.

"At certain times in a career i think it is best to get a breath of fresh air and I certainly think the move has furthered my game."