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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 13:46 GMT
Shearer nearly quit
Sir Bobby Robson (left) and Alan Shearer
Robson (left) has sparked Shearer's renaissance
Alan Shearer has admitted that Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson saved his career.

The former England captain has enjoyed a renaissance at St James' Park since Robson's arrival in 1999.

Shearer was named Barclaycard Player of the Month in December and has helped spur Newcastle to third in the Premiership under his former international manager.

But he insisted he was close to leaving Newcastle three years ago after suffering a serious loss of form.

Ruud Gullit had been in charge of the club and Shearer's form dipped during the Dutchman's turbulent reign on Tyneside.

He [Robson] got me back to playing the way I know I can

Alan Shearer

"I was down in the dumps here when he [Robson] came to Newcastle. I would have had to leave, that's how bad it was," Shearer told a Sport on Five programme to mark Robson's 70th birthday.

"I was playing in a certain way that wasn't good for the team and wasn't good for myself.

"He came in and spotted that and analysed me. He had a chat with me and he changed me around.

"He saved my career in a way because I wasn't playing well at the time.

"He got me back to playing the way I know I can."

Sir Bobby Robson
Robson joined Newcastle in 1999

Shearer passed the double landmarks of 300 career goals and 100 Premiership goals for Newcastle in October and November respectively.

And he insisted that Robson's steely determination masked by a fatherly nature was the key to his success.

"In his first home game we beat Sheffield Wednesday by eight and I scored five. It was pretty instant and I've gone from strength to strength," said Shearer.

"He pulled me into his office and said 'you're not doing things right. I'll leave you out if you're not going to do this properly. I want you to do it my way'."

Shearer added: "I think it is great because if he can do that to big name players he can do it to anyone.

"He won't be frightened to leave you out if you're not playing well or not doing things right.

"He'll give you a chance and he'll help you as much as he can but he wants things in return.

"But that's what he's there for because he's a manager, he demands to be the very best."

Robson, the former Ipswich, Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven manager, will be 70 on 18 February.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Newcastle captain Alan Shearer
"He saved my career"
Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson
"We had to introduce movement to his game"
Sir Bobby Robson is still going strong at the grand old age of 70

Sir Bobby's big day

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