Shearer bemoans Newcastle's lack of cutting edge

With more than 200 goals, Alan Shearer never had a problem finding the net for hometown club Newcastle. As its manager he has so far been unable to capture a victory, and two draws from his first four games in charge is adding up to relegation form.

At 18th in the standings, Newcastle dropped two more points in a 0-0 draw at home to Portsmouth last night with Shearer fielding three top quality strikers — Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins — and still unable to find the net.



The team has scored only one goal in four games since he took over and that's a poor record for a man who broke Premier League goalscoring records as a player.



"Confidence in football is huge and, at the minute, the team aren't winning matches," Shearer said after the draw with Portsmouth put even more pressure on him. "You get into a habit and, at the minute, it's proving very difficult to win games, it's proving difficult to score goals."



With an away game at Liverpool to come on Sunday, it looks almost certain that the winless run will stretch to five with only three games left and that sort of form suggests that the club will go down for the first time since 1989.



"I would dearly love to think we could go there and get something," said the former England captain who is in his first job as a manager. "We will be trying to do that, but I really don't know, I can't tell you. I don't know what is going to be enough to stay up."



One of Newcastle's most popular stars, Shearer has been linked with the job ever since he quit playing three years ago. But he stayed away to concentrate on his job as a football analyst with the BBC, a role he enjoyed.



When he decided to take the job until the end of the season, taking over on 1 April, Newcastle fans hoped that his return would turn the team around and save the Magpies from relegation.



So far, it hasn't worked and Newcastle, who havn't won the league title since 1927 or any major competition since the 1969 European Fairs Cup, are three points off the safety zone — a worse position than when he took over.



"We are relying on other people," he said. "It's going to be a tense end to the season, we all know that. The way the season has gone tells us that this year.



"We have got to make sure we are still in there fighting come the second last, come the last game of the season. We have got to make sure we are in there fighting."



The fans hoped that Shearer's goalscoring skills — a Premier League record 260 goals as well as 30 in 63 matches for England — would rub off on Newcastle's current strikers, all of them big names with good scoring records.



"It's ironic, really, the three players that I wanted up there all had one very good chance each and you would expect at least one of those to go in," said Shearer, whose total of Premier League goals is 73 more than next best Andy Cole.



"The chances were there. On another night, one goes in."



After the visit to Anfield, Newcastle hosts one of the only two teams below — neighbor Middlesbrough — but then has two tough games against Fulham and Aston Villa, both current in the top seven.



With three points to make up on Hull, Newcastle needs to beat Middlesbrough and get some points against Fulham and Villa and even that may not be enough.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering