Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has hit back at claims he allowed Loic Remy to skip the final game of the season in order to avoid injury.
The France striker claimed in an interview with L'Equipe that Pardew had agreed the game was meaningless and was happy to sideline him for a trip to Liverpool - which Newcastle lost 2-1.
Remy said: "The coach, Alan Pardew, fully understood my point of view. We didn't have anything to play for."
However, Pardew has hit back at the player's claims and insisted he would never view a game as meaningless, claiming Remy - who was on loan at St James' Park from Queens Park Rangers - missed the game due to an injury.
In a statement, he said: "Following media reports today (Tuesday, 27th May) concerning my player selection for our final game of the season against Liverpool, any suggestion that I colluded and agreed with our loan striker, Loic Remy, that he did not have to play in this game are wholly untrue.
"To suggest that I considered there to be nothing riding on that game is also completely false. Our final league position was at stake, as was the race for the Barclays Premier League title for our opponents, Liverpool.
"What is more, each and every one of us associated with the Club was desperate to get a result for our supporters, especially those 2,800 travelling fans who made the journey to Anfield that day.
"The reality was that Loic had sustained an ankle injury in our game against Cardiff the previous week. The results of an MRI scan conducted after that fixture revealed ligament damage and swelling around the joint.
"It was a result of this injury, and the fact that Loic was unable therefore to complete any training session during the week leading up to the Liverpool game, that meant he was not fit for selection.
"Had Loic been fit then clearly, without question, he would have been selected to play in what was a crucial game like every other."