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Wednesday, December 3, 1997 Published at 22:30 GMT


Shearer targets World Cup comeback
image: [ Agony for Shearer, stretchered off with ankle injury ]
Agony for Shearer, stretchered off with ankle injury

England captain Alan Shearer, out of action since the pre-season, is confident he will be back to join preparations for the World Cup.

"I'm not going to come back unless I'm 100% fit but I have no doubts that I will be fit for the World Cup," said the Newcastle striker.

"I'm hoping to be kicking a ball in January. Everything is going well and I've surprised the physio with how quickly it's going."

Shearer, who injured his ankle during a pre-season friendly against Everton, would not put a precise date on his comeback, although he said he doubted he would be back by February, as some media reports have said.

"Sometime in the New Year I will have a better picture," he added.

The striker, who scored six goals during Euro 96, said England were not disappointed to be overlooked as one of the seeded teams for the France 98 finals. The draw for the eight groups is being made on Thursday.

Other nations now feared England, he said, adding that England v Brazil would make a great final.

"After what we've achieved in the last two or three years, everybody will be saying to themselves that they really don't fancy having to play us. We know we've got a hell of a chance."

Shearer talks to the BBC. Dur. 2' 28"

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