Shearer lined up as Newcastle manager

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The Independent Football

The Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd wants Alan Shearer to one day take the manager's job at St James' Park.

Shepherd yesterday expressed confidence in manager Bobby Robson's ability to steer Newcastle back to the heady of Kevin Keegan's reign and praised the veteran coach for the job he has done on Tyneside.

But he added: "One day, I'd love to see Alan Shearer as manager of Newcastle. I think he's got everything it takes to be a good manager, but a lot of top players aren't good managers."

Speaking on Radio Five Live's SportWeek show, Shepherd said: "I think we've got the strongest squad since Kevin left. Bobby came in [after Ruud Gullit] and had to stabilise the position.

"In the first year, he definitely saved the relegation position. In the second, he rooted out players he didn't want, and in the third he got us on track.

"Bobby's got a 12-month rolling contract – and Bobby will go when he wants to go. Every day he wakes up, he's got another 12 months in front of him.

"One of the reasons we gave him a 12-month contract was to stop people saying 'he's got three months left' or 'he's got four months left'. As far as I'm concerned, he's got 12 months left." Shearer, also speaking on this morning's programme, claimed it was "disrespectful" for the media to suggest he will be Robson's successor sooner rather than later.

"There have been no discussions or talks," he said. "I think it's a bit disrespectful to Bobby Robson that people keep on talking about me as manager of Newcastle.

"I'd like to stay in the game in some capacity, but I'm certainly not taking any coaching badges. I want to concentrate on playing for as long as I can. I've got three years left on my contract and would dearly love to see that out, keeping playing at the top level.

"I'd like to finish off at the top – I don't think I'm one of these players who will still be playing at 36." Shearer also offered some words of comfort to Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen as he begins his comeback from the relapse of his hamstring injury, sustained in Saturday's 1-0 victory against Tottenham.

"He is very, very good and can only get better," Shearer said. "That's the frightening thing, because he's only 21. What he's achieved in his career so far is miraculous. He's down to earth and a good lad." Finally, Shearer reflected on his fracas with Manchester United's Roy Keane last weekend and insisted there is no personal animosity between the pair.

He added: "It wasn't a nice or pretty incident, but I really do respect Roy Keane – and I think he is a magnificent player. He is a winner and does lose his temper at times, but if you took the aggression away from him, he wouldn't be the great player he is.

"I haven't got a problem with him, and I don't think he's got a problem with me. He lost his temper. We've all done that at times – we're only human."