Shepherd said: “Let’s make one thing very clear – if the players Glenn wanted to bring in had been available, we would have gone out and bought them.
“The reason Newcastle didn’t sign anyone on a permanent basis during January is simple. Clubs didn’t want to release the players we had identified and, however much you might want to buy someone, you can’t force a club to sell.
“We were not prepared to go for second best, acting in haste and repenting at leisure. Glenn has proved he is nobody’s fool in the transfer market. He could easily have panicked and downgraded his targets but he held his nerve and that’s an admirable quality in a manager. Just remember what he has had to deal with this season – the worst injury list in Premier League history and that’s official because we have checked it out. That makes his stance even more admirable.
“He would rather not buy anyone than buy second best. Without wanting to go into too many details about the club’s transfer policy, let’s just say that we are looking to be much more selective in the future. We’re hoping that by keeping our powder dry now, that policy pays dividends in the summer.
“It’s ridiculous to suggest that the club didn’t back the manager in the transfer market. History proves that. We have spent £80m on players in the last few years and £16m this season.”