Sebastien Bassong is relishing a push for Europe this season with Tottenham - but he still can barely believe Newcastle were relegated from the top flight last May.
Bassong was suspended for the defeat to Aston Villa when Newcastle lost their Barclays Premier League status, with the centre-back deciding shortly after the final whistle that he had to move even if Alan Shearer stayed as manager.
Shearer rated Bassong so highly that he told Harry Redknapp the 23-year-old would stay at St James' Park as long as he was in charge - but relegation ended his role as caretaker boss.
Newcastle may have stayed up if Bassong played against Villa - and the mood at the club would be quite different now if they did.
"No, I still cannot believe it," Bassong said. "Last week I went to Newcastle to pick my stuff and I was in front of St James' Park, I could not imagine this magnificent stadium in the Championship but the reality is that I have to.
"I wish them very good luck but it is finished for me."
Bassong impressed last season but struggles to find an explanation why the club went down.
"If we knew what was happening wrong we would have done the opposite," he said. "We had a lot of injured players and four managers in the year. It was a mix not one special thing. Even if we had four managers, or the club is a mess, we are playing on the pitch so we have to play good."
Bassong insists he learnt from each of the four managers he played under in his rookie season in England.
"When you have a lot of managers it is hard to adapt but even if it is for a short time, Shearer with his experience gave me a lot," he said. "He helped us with confidence and he knew football.
"That is why he did well but not enough to stay in the Premier League."
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