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Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 09:21 UK

Shearer non-committal over future

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Shearer reflects on 'sad day' for Newcastle

Alan Shearer shied away from answering questions over his future as Newcastle manager after a defeat at Aston Villa resulted in his side being relegated.

The 1-0 loss means the Magpies, who ended the season on 34 points, will play in the Championship next season.

Shearer, 38, is set to meet Newcastle owner Mike Ashley this week.

"I'll speak to the owner and say what I think has gone right and wrong but now is not the time to discuss my future," said Shearer.

The defeat was Newcastle's 18th of the season and sixth under Shearer, who took the role on a temporary basis in April with incumbent boss Joe Kinnear suffering from health issues.

His appointment was hailed as a masterstroke by many Newcastle fans, who consider the former England international a hero in the north east following a sensational playing career that included 10 years at St James' Park but the club won only four points out of a possible 24 under his command.

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A 3-1 defeat of local rivals Middlesbrough proved an all-too rare highlight for the Toon fans under Shearer and, as Hull lost against Manchester United, the Tynesiders could not find the point required to preserve their top-flight status in another weary performance against Aston Villa.

Shearer urged supporters not to engage in bitter recriminations, with many fans having already turned on owner Ashley, who put the club up for sale earlier in the season.

"Look, you can point the finger at me, at Joe Kinnear, at the players, at Mike Ashley but it really just comes down to the fact that we weren't good enough this season nor the season before and you can go back over a number of years and it's the same," added Shearer.

"I am bitterly disappointed, obviously. I'm feeling hurt, a little bit of anger, a bit of everything.

"But it hasn't happened today - the fact is we haven't been good enough over 38 games. You can talk about luck, about refereeing decisions and so on but the teams that are in the bottom three at the end of the season are the teams that deserve to go down.

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"I can't fault the players for their effort, the simple fact is we're just not good enough."

Shearer's position remains uncertain, with Kinnear contracted as manager for the next two years and the former England international thought to have agreed to manage the club only until the summer.

And when asked about his and the club's future, he added: "This club needs big changes, that is there for all to see.

"This is a fantastic football club, with amazing support, but it needs a hell of a lot of hard work for whoever comes in. It needs totally rebuilding.

"I was shocked at the state of the club when I came in. I was aware of mistakes that had been made. There are huge problems at the club. They are there for everyone to see.

"Everyone is hurting and, I'm sure, bitter, but what we need is a time of calm and for us to get our thoughts together, see what mistakes have been made before deciding where we go from here.

"I know everyone wants to know what I am going to do. You won't believe me when I say I have not had time to really think about it.

"But we need to have the meeting sooner rather than later and make decisions. It does not take a genius to see what is wrong with the club.

"Those guys have some major decisions to make. There are millions of questions to be answered. I will give them my thoughts but they might not ask me to be the manager."

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The club's managing director Derek Llambias is also keen to draw up plans and said he hoped to confirm arrangements for next season over the coming days.

"We are all hurting and I feel desperately sorry for everyone associated with Newcastle United," he told the club's website.

"For Mike Ashley, who has invested heavily in the club, and for all the supporters who have given the team magnificent backing up and down the country all season long.

"Mike and I will sit down with Alan this week to discuss how the club moves forward again, and I hope to be able to say more to our supporters later this week."

Villa boss Martin O'Neill insisted that, despite only one win in his eight games in charge, Newcastle's decision to bring in Shearer was the right one.

"I have sympathy for Alan. The Premier League will be poorer without Newcastle in it. He came in at a very difficult time but I think it was the right thing regardless of whether he had the experience or not," he said.

"I thought it was a short period of time where he could galvanise not only the team but the whole club and the support they had against us was extraordinary.

"It is an extraordinary club and I am sure they will bounce back again. Alan will reflect on it and I think, like Roy Keane, he can be anything he wants to be."



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see also
Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle
24 May 09 |  Premier League
Newcastle's season of misery
24 May 09 |  Newcastle
What now for north-east football?
24 May 09 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
24 May 09 |  Football
Premier League photos
24 May 09 |  Premier League


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