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Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 17:15 GMT
Shearer feared for career
Alan Shearer scores his 100th goal for Newcastle
Shearer hits his 100th Newcastle goal against Ipswich
Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, who scored his 100th goal for the club on Tuesday, thought his career could be over eight months ago.

The former England captain reached the milestone in Newcastle's 4-1 win over Ipswich in the Worthington Cup on Tuesday.

But he feared he might have to retire last season when a persistent knee injury failed to clear up.

Renowned American surgeon Richard Steadman then operated on the 31-year-old and Shearer now looks to be returning to his best form.


I'm just looking forward to every game now because every game is a bonus
Alan Shearer

"I did fear the worst at one point," Shearer said. "Six or seven months ago, after the first operation, I came back and the pain was there again.

"But the club sent me over to America. We sought out the best and it was a worthwhile trip.

"There's really no pain at all in there now.

"I'm just looking forward to every game now because every game is a bonus for me."

Shearer has consistently been linked with the manager's job at St James' Park.

But he said he was happy to stay playing for as long as possible.

"I don't know how long I'll carry on playing, but it won't be for the want of trying," he said.

"The manager is probably more confident in my ability than I am. My contract is for two-and-a-half years and at the moment, that's the way it's looking for me.

"But if I'm still going strong in two-and-a-half years, I might be lucky enough that the club give me another year's contract - but I'm not getting too excited."

Newcastle boss Bobby Robson was delighted for his talismanic striker.


I keep reading stories about him going into management - he just needs to stick to playing
Bobby Robson
Newcastle manager

"I didn't know Alan before I came here," he said. "I knew of him but I hadn't worked with him.

"But I'd heard from Terry Venables and Don Howe that he was an inspirational figure on and off the pitch and that he was a terrific lad.

"That's why I couldn't understand why, when I came here, he wasn't getting along with the people who were at the club at the time.

"My first duty was to get the captain back on board. It was crucial to the salvation of the club."

Robson has now challenged him to aim for 150 United goals.

"I think he'll play three more years," he said. "That's what he's got to concentrate on.

"I keep reading stories about him going into management. He just needs to stick to playing, give us another three years of what he can do and enjoy that.

"Let Alan Shearer finish off a brilliant career."

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