BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Sunday, 5 April 2009 11:00 UK

Shearer remains defiant in defeat

Alan Shearer
Shearer was in the dugout for his first game in charge at St James' Park

Alan Shearer insisted his relegation-threatened Newcastle United side can avoid the drop despite a 2-0 defeat by Chelsea in his first match in charge.

"I'm still confident that we can avoid the drop and my players are too, which is more important," said Shearer.

"One game is a long time and we have seven left to play this season - so I'm sure there'll be twists and turns."

Newcastle are third from bottom in the league table, three points away from arch-rivals Sunderland in 17th place.

My players gave me fantastic effort and we're going to need every ounce of that between now and the end of the season

Alan Shearer

The home fans at St James' Park had hoped the return of the iconic former striker as manager would help to reinvigorate a club desperate to escape the relegation zone.

But though his side failed to take points from the game, Shearer was pleased about the performance of his team on his managerial debut.

"My players gave me fantastic effort as I knew they would and we're going to need every ounce of that between now and the end of the season," he said.

"There'll be no pointing fingers at anyone, we're in this together and we'll be united in the dressing room.

"Results-wise, other teams' (situations) have gone against us as well, so we know we are in a fight and we will give it a fight."

Despite the baptism of fire, the 39-year-old added that his first game in the management hot-seat had been a good experience.

"I enjoyed it, I'm putting a brave face on as I'm very disappointed, but I enjoyed the build up (to the match) and would have enjoyed (the day) a hell of a lot more if we had a point or three."

Newcastle were denied a consolation goal late in the game from Michael Owen, who protested his cleared shot had crossed the line and should have counted.

We were punished for mistakes - Shearer

"The linesman has made a mistake but we all make them," said Shearer. "What it might have done was give us a rousing last five or 10 minutes, but it was certainly not his fault that we lost the game today."

The new boss of the Magpies also revealed the extent of midfielder Peter Lovenkrands' injury.

The 29-year-old Dane was rushed to hospital wearing breathing apparatus after collapsing in agony after a collision with Florent Malouda.

"He got a very, very nasty knock on his back and he was actually struggling to breathe," said Shearer.

"They had to put the breathing apparatus on when he got into the dressing room. Thankfully, he went off to hospital and they have now stabilised him and hopefully he will be okay."

Shearer also drew a vote of confidence from the victorious Chelsea manager, Guus Hiddink.

"Alan knows, because of the great experience of his in the Premier League, that it is not always when you have eight games to go that you are very optimistic," the Dutchman said.


"But I am sure that in spite of the defeat today, this team will recover, as they showed in parts of the second half.

"Normally when you are 2-0 down and you are in the bottom three of the league, morale is going down. But it was not there to see in Newcastle's game and that is a good foundation for gathering points in the future."

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek, Shearer reiterated that his managerial reign at Newcastle would only last until the end of the season.

"Let's not forget Joe Kinnear, who is recovering at home and doing well - he'll come back," he said.

"I've been asked to take over for eight games and that's the club's intention and to keep the club in the Premier League.

"You can never tell what will happen in the future but I'll be back on Match of the Day next year. Some will be pleased, some won't!"

"We have to get our first win and see where that gets us."

Print Sponsor

see also
Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea
02 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Shearer insists role is temporary
02 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Shearer confirmed as Magpies boss
01 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Reaction to Shearer's appointment
01 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Alan Hansen's column
02 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Ten to tackle - Shearer special
03 Apr 09 |  Fun and Games