Shearer makes his mark

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Fledgling Newcastle manager Alan Shearer has left his players in little doubt who is in charge.

Midfielder Nicky Butt, who played alongside the 38-year-old for England, has been hugely impressed with the way he has assumed the mantle of boss since accepting the task of trying to rescue his home-town club.

Butt said: "He commands respect, especially at this club."

Shearer will send out his side at Stoke on Saturday knowing a failure to return to Tyneside with anything to show for their efforts will leave them deep in relegation trouble with only six games to play.

However, they way in which he has set about his task has already had an impact within the dressing room.

Butt added: "As players, you always look up to players who have been there, seen it and done it, and Alan certainly has done that.

"He's made it clear what he expects and what he's trying to do. Everybody's happy with it and we are all delighted. We know he's in charge and we know who the boss is.

"Joe (Kinnear) had his illness and it was difficult for Colin (Calderwood) and Chris (Hughton). Going from coach to being in charge is always difficult.

"Now we have somebody in Alan, we know he is in charge. He's the man you go to with a problem and he's the man we all answer to. It's good to have somebody like that."

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Stoke City
Premier League
Alan Shearer
Nicky Butt

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