Shearer turns focus on players

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Alan Shearer insists his return to St James' Park as temporary manager cannot be allowed to detract from the serious situation the club are in.

The Magpies' record goalscorer has taken over for the final eight matches of the season with the club in deep trouble near the foot of the table. They are third-bottom, two points from safety having won one of their past 12 matches and with Chelsea the visitors on Saturday.

And, despite the hype surrounding his return, Shearer insists it is the players who should get the backing of the fans, saying: "I have had a reputation as a player but that has gone, I'm moving on to something different now. I want to put it (the focus) on to the players because they are the important ones."

He added: "I'll be judged over the eight games, as every single manager is. I have not come into this with my eyes shut, I know what the stakes are.

"I understand why the fans are excited - because it is myself and Newcastle United - but we have to get away from this Alan Shearer thing.

"It is not about me, it is about keeping this club in the Premier League. I'll be trying as hard as I can to get away from that.

"Yes I'll go out and see the fans and sign autographs and give them as much as we can but we have to try to get away from this thing about me, we have a job to do.

Shearer stressed on more than one occasion that his mandate is to keep the club in the top flight over the final eight matches of the season and there has been no discussions beyond that.

As far he is concerned, even if he is successful he will go back to his media work and allow Joe Kinnear, who is recovering from a triple heart by-pass, to return.

"I don't think it would be difficult for me to walk away. That is the plan, keep the football club up and then the powers that be can decide which direction they go in," he added.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer

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