Keegan: 'I'm the best man for the job'

January 18, 2008

Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan said he 'would love' to bring Alan Shearer back to the club.

Keegan made a sensational return to St James' Park on Wednesday for a second spell as boss, after Sam Allardyce left the club a week previously.

Shearer - the club's record goalscorer who retired in 2006 - had been suggested as a possible manager, but Keegan's appointment left Geordie fans dreaming of a double-team of Magpies legends, with Shearer as an assistant.

And Keegan would certainly welcome him with open arms - if Shearer wants to come.

'If there is a role for Alan which he wants, I will definitely speak to him at some stage,' he told a press conference this afternoon. 'I would love to have him back, and we'll definitely talk.'

Keegan added: 'I haven't spoke to Alan yet, I've concentrated fully on Saturday's match (against Bolton).

'I've walked into a training ground I've never seen, meeting a lot of the staff for the first time.'

Keegan insisted he was the 'best qualified' man to take charge of the strife-torn Magpies.

'I know the club. I'm not saying the other managers (who were linked to the job) didn't, but I know it as a player, a manager, I know what it's like in terms of what the fans want,' he said.

'I don't have to learn those things. This is a very special club, and that's what people outside this area don't understand. I think I'm the best qualified person to come and do this job.'

Keegan claimed it had been difficult to watch on as his successors in the Newcastle hot seat failed to build on his good work between 1992 and 1997.

'Every time the job came up, there was a little bit of envy there. That's how I felt every time this job came up,' he said. 'I didn't leave (in 1997) because I wanted to, it was because of circumstances. I didn't think the club was going where I wanted it to.'

And Keegan is confident that, with the help of owner Mike Ashley's millions, he can help Newcastle break into the top four once again.

'If there's one thing that impressed me with Mike Ashley, it's not just that the finance would be provided, he was saying `I want to win something'.

'That might sound a tough challenge but it is possible to win something here, for them to break into the top four. Not overnight. But we did it once before.'

Keegan believes it might not be quite as hard to improve the club's fortunes as some have suggested in the wake of a difficult start to the season.

'There are a lot of quality players here in Michael Owen and Mark Viduka, and then you start to look at other players who have been at other clubs and done well,' he said.

'There are players like Nicky Butt and Alan Smith who have won trophies with Manchester United. Damien Duff who has played numerous times with his country so there is a lot of potential here.

'I want the club to be a different club from what they have experienced - they haven't seen the club at its best yet.'

Keegan did, however, admit that he would look to make additions to the playing staff during the remainder of the transfer window.

'We've got two weeks of the transfer window and a lot of players don't move at this time of year,' he said.

'We will try to fetch two or three players in, but not just to get the numbers up.'

The Magpies boss reiterated his commitment to entertain the `Geordie nation'.

'When they have worked all week, the match for them is a bit like people down south going to a theatre,' he quipped. 'They want to be entertained and see something worth seeing.

'What they don't want is for us to go out and drably play and win 1-0. We will have a go and when we've got settled in we'll hopefully show that.'