Shearer and Hughes head Newcastle job list

January 14, 2008

Tyneside hero Alan Shearer and Blackburn manager Mark Hughes remain among the front-runners as Newcastle continue their search for a new manager.

Record goalscorer Shearer yesterday had his cause trumpeted by Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp - who rejected the Magpies on Saturday - while Hughes refused to categorically rule out a move.

Shearer has been linked with a return to St James' Park in partnership with former boss Kevin Keegan but with the club still reeling from top choice Redknapp's snub, there appears no clear front-runner.

Shearer, who retired at the end of the 2005-06 season, is thought to have been out of the country and has not commented since Sam Allardyce left the post last week.

'I'd give Alan Shearer the job. I think he's perfect for it,' said Redknapp after his side's 2-0 defeat at Sunderland yesterday.

'Experience doesn't matter because he understands football.

'He's different class and he's going right to the top. There's no reason Alan Shearer can't do that as well.

'He'd set the place alight and the fans would love him. You could bring a couple of experienced people in alongside him and it wouldn't be a problem for him.

'Because of what he means to the place and what the fans think of him and what a player he's been, he'd be absolutely perfect. I wouldn't want to see any further than Alan Shearer.'

Hughes watched his Blackburn side snatch a dramatic 2-1 win at Bolton courtesy of a late Jason Roberts goal yesterday and then insisted his focus remains on Rovers.

Despite repeated questioning, however, Hughes did not say he would not leave Blackburn for Newcastle - a route taken by his Rovers predecessor Graeme Souness.

'I have support from the chairman (John Williams) and the board,' Hughes said. 'That is something you do not give up lightly.

'The fact is I have continuity here and a good situation. Things are in place and I am very conscious of that.

'All I am trying to do is my job to the best of my ability with the help of my staff.

'I am not into self-promotion but speculation has surrounded me in the past.

'It is recognition for the work myself, the players and the staff are doing here and that is all we view it as.'