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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League

Former Mag Hislop: Toon players wanted Shearer

Shaka Hislop says Newcastle United's players have got the manager they wanted in Alan Shearer.

And the former Toon 'keeper thinks Shearer's appointment is the right decision for both the short and long term.

Hislop spent two seasons with Shearer at Newcastle in the 1990s and says the former number nine has all the right qualities to make a successful manager.

But Hislop admits he was surprised Shearer has opted to step into the club at such a volatile time.

He told ESPN Soccernet: "It's a little bit risky given Alan's lack of managerial experience but I think it's the right decision. I've spoken to a number of senior players at Newcastle United and they felt that Alan Shearer was the right appointment and had been feeling so for quite some time.

"He definitely has the makings of a good manager - he's a student of the game and a winner; he'll bring that a Newcastle team who have forgotten how to win and forgotten how to be resilient. In the long term I think it's a great appointment. Alan is all Newcastle United and I believe he will be the right man.

"He's a winner through and through - you saw that as a player. He's a very focused man and will go into this job with his eyes wide open. I think he'll deliver."

Hislop is convinced his former club needed to act to arrest an alarming slump in form that has seen them win only once in 12 games.

Coaches Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood were handed the reins after Joe Kinnear was taken ill back in February but the duo have taken just two points from the last fifteen on offer.

Hislop thinks Shearer can provide the presence needed to revitalise a club severely lacking in confidence.

"When you find yourself in the position Newcastle do, you need a certain amount of authority. A new manager always brings about a reaction and that is what they need," he said.

"I'm certain he goes in on his own terms, knowing the task ahead. He needs to re-establish a certain work ethic. Speaking to some of the players its one of the things that's got away from the club a bit - the players have not fully appreciated the responsibility when they pull on that black-and-white shirt."

Hislop, who made 53 appearances for the club, thinks Shearer can inject renewed optimism ahead of their grim battle against the drop and will stay at the club whether they survive or not.

"I think he'll get a response and the results will come," Hislop said. "If they can at least put out a decent performance against Chelsea it gives Alan something to build on.

"I think he'll stay on regardless of what happens at the end of the season. If Newcastle stay up he'll see his short time in charge as successful and will be under enormous pressure from fans to stay.

"If they go down he will feel disheartened by it and he'll want to do something about it."


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