Viduka's great appetite earns Newcastle recall

Alan Shearer and Mark Viduka could be said to occupy the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to Newcastle United centre forwards. But the Australian, who has not started a game all season and who has featured for only 22 minutes this year, has been included in Shearer's squad for the game at Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow and is the subject of a splurge of praise from the new Newcastle temporary manager.

Shearer's message is that a player earning vast sums per week had virtually been written off by the previous regime and that in Newcastle's situation, the club cannot afford that financially or in terms of playing numbers.

Viduka's contract expires in June and he was not expected to be seen in black and white stripes again.

"It's fair to say that Mark probably wouldn't have played again this season if things hadn't changed," Shearer began. "So just having him available to play some part is great. He was injured and not in a good condition and probably on his way to Australia this summer because talks hadn't happened between himself and the football club.

"But he's shown a great appetite to get us out of trouble which is what I'm looking for. He was sidelined before I came. Everyone knows he's got ability. If we can get something out of him between now and the end of the season it could be key."

Viduka, 33, has seen his stock fall low enough on Tyneside for him to have been booed by Newcastle fans this season, but that is not the Viduka Shearer has experienced in his two weeks at the Benton training ground.

"Mark's shown a great attitude and pushed himself hard," Shearer said. "He's been in early every morning and does extra work every afternoon. It's a fine balance of trying to get him fit without pushing him too hard."

Shearer's enthusiasm for Viduka led to a discussion over the possibility of a one-year extension being offered.

"That's something we'd have to look at come the end of the season," Shearer added. "I asked Mark: 'Do you want to help play a part in us trying to stay up?' And the answer was most definitely a 'Yes'. I think it would have been a complete waste to just let him lie on the treatment table looking forward to going back to the beaches in Australia. That's what his plans were this summer."

Shearer does not care how Newcastle get the points they need to avoid relegation as long as they get them. "Points are the most important thing. I believe in trying to play the game the right way, if there is a right way. But I don't really care, to be honest. As long as we get more points than the other three at the bottom between now and the end of the season, I don't care how they come."

News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence