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Owen lauds Shearer era at St James' Park

Newcastle United captain Michael Owen has backed Alan Shearer to keep the struggling Tyneside club in the Premier League.

Geordie hero Shearer is poised for his first game as Magpies boss against Chelsea on Saturday since his shock unveiling as a short-term replacement for Joe Kinnear this week.

Owen, who striker partnered Shearer for England and Newcastle, insists the team will play hard for the 38-year-old after he took over the hotseat at St James' Park for the final eight games of the season.

In the matchday programme Owen said: "I'm really delighted to see Alan here as manager.

"I watched his career when I was a kid, I admired him as a player, and then I got the chance to play alongside him with Newcastle. Now it's come full circle and here I'm playing for him as my manager. Who would have thought it?

"Alan Shearer's appointment as Newcastle manager is just what we needed to give us that extra injection of confident and enthusiasm.

"Everyone has certainly had an extra spring in their step. It's exciting and it's given the whole place a buzz. There are not many people who could come in and affect the club like this, but Alan is certainly one who can.

"Everybody's in a great frame of mind, and now if we go out on the pitch and get a positive result the whole thing can snowball.

"But we've got to get that first win, and all the players know we have to produce top form to get it, especially against a side like Chelsea."

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