Shearer was only option - Llambias

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Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias has revealed Alan Shearer was the only man to whom the club could have turned in the search for a saviour.

The Magpies sprang a major surprise last week when, after repeated speculation that Terry Venables could be drafted in to replace the recovering Joe Kinnear as manager, they managed to persuade Shearer to take charge for the final eight games of the season.

Llambias told the Evening Chronicle: "We had to weigh up the situation. We were in a position where we had to make a move and Alan was the best move. He was the only person we approached, we felt that was our only choice."

It is understood tests carried out on Kinnear in the wake of his triple heart bypass have shown all is going well, but that he will not be able to return to work for a further two months.

Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea left the club three points adrift of safety with just 21 left to play for.

But Shearer remains optimistic of pulling off a great escape, and the men who appointed him - Llambias and owner Mike Ashley - are convinced they have got the right man for the job.

Llambias added: "He has made a difference. He's a straight talker, I like that about him. There is no nonsense.

"I'm really upbeat about it. He's got the respect, he's loved in this town and so he should be.

"Alan has got Iain Dowie with him and that's a good balance, but Alan is making the decisions.

"Iain is assisting on the football side of it and the energy within the training camp. I'm really encouraged by it all."

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer

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