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By ESPN Staff

Shearer backs Keegan to end horror form

Alan Shearer does not believe Kevin Keegan's job is under any threat at Newcastle despite his failure to lead them to victory since returning to the club.

Saturday's 5-1 home thrashing by Manchester United was Keegan's fourth defeat from six matches since his shock reappointment last month.

Those games have seen Newcastle ship 16 goals and score only three times, eroding the optimism that greeted Keegan's dramatic return.

Shearer, who has been linked with a role on Keegan's coaching staff but has yet to take up any offer, believes his fellow Toon legend will get plenty of time to turn the club's fortunes around.

'They'll give him as much time as he needs,' Shearer said on BBC Radio Five Live. 'He's signed a three-and-a-half-year deal and he said at the weekend he's here for that.

'There's no reason at all why he won't see that out. Kevin will get more time than anyone else because of what he did on his first time around at Newcastle.

'Without doubt, he'll have the support of the crowd right the way through that.'

Newcastle are in danger of being sucked into a relegation battle and Shearer accepts the players are bereft of confidence at the moment.

But he insists they are too good to go down.

'Everything boils down to results and, at this moment in time, Newcastle aren't getting them,' he said. 'I don't think they'll have any chance of going down.

'I know the run of results they've had suggest they're going to get involved in a scrap but I still feel that they're a much better team than those that are around them at the bottom.'

He added: 'They've got a fixture coming on Saturday - Blackburn at home - which is obviously very winnable.

'What's very important as well is that the crowd is still with them.'