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By ESPN Staff

Redknapp backs Shearer for Newcastle job

Harry Redknapp has backed Alan Shearer to become the next Newcastle manager one day after the Portsmouth boss ruled himself out of the running for personal reasons.

Speaking after Pompey's 2-0 defeat to Sunderland in the north-east, Redknapp hailed Shearer's qualifications for the job and rejected fears his inexperience could be a drawback.

Redknapp said: 'I'd give Alan Shearer the job. I think he's perfect for it. Experience doesn't matter because he understands football.

'Roy Keane hasn't got the experience and he knows what he's doing. He's different class and he's going right to the top. There's no reason Alan Shearer can't do that as well.

'He'd set the place alight and the fans would love him. You could bring a couple of experienced people in alongside him and it wouldn't be a problem for him.

'Because of what he means to the place and what the fans think of him and what a player he's been, he'd be absolutely perfect. I wouldn't want to see any further than Alan Shearer.'

Redknapp went on to dismiss suggestions he had rejected a reputed £5million per year salary to move to the north-east for any other reasons than his desire to remain at Fratton Park.

Redknapp added: 'It was a great opportunity for me to go and manage one of the great football clubs. I understand all that. Some people will say I made the right move and some people will say I should have taken it.

'Everyone's got their own opinions but we all have our own lives. Everybody's got to do what they want to do with their own life, and I love my life.

'I enjoy going to work every day. If I didn't like the place, if I didn't like the owner or if I didn't like the players I'd have been up there like a shot, but there was no need for me to change.'

Sunderland boss Keane hailed the performance of two-goal hero Kieran Richardson as his team rebounded from last week's dismal FA Cup third round defeat to Wigan.

Keane said: 'We brought Kieran to the club for what you saw today. He's one of the fastest players at the team and when you have a midfielder with pace who can get you a goal it's a massive plus. Kieran gives us something special.

'It was great to keep a clean sheet today and score two goals. I knew there would be no negative energy within the club and I could tell that we were ready for the game today.'

Keane singled out striker Kenwyne Jones who returned after missing the Latics defeat with a knee injury with another influential performance up front despite still suffering the after effects of his knock.

Keane added: 'There are one or two players who we really struggle to cope without and Kenwyne is nowhere near fit but he showed what a good lad he is and hung in there.

'That's from maybe 60 or 70 % fit. I tend to ask my players not to play unless they are 80 % fit.'