Date: 22nd April 2009 at 4:51pm
Written by:

Alan Hansen, pundit for the New Football Pools on Alan Shearer

‘Much has been made of Newcastle`s failure to pick up a win under Alan Shearer in his three matches in charge but for me, that`s completely unfair considering the fixtures he has had to deal with.

To play Chelsea at home and then tough fixtures away at Stoke and Tottenham was hardly going to yield many points considering Newcastle`s previous form. In Alan`s heart of hearts he may well have written the Chelsea and Spurs games off in preparation for the upcoming 3 home games that are do or die in terms of Newcastle`s survival. A point against either of the two London clubs would have delighted Alan but realistically the upcoming games are the must-win matches.

The point at Stoke was a decent result but the home games against Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Fulham are the games Alan will be concentrating all his efforts on. The problem for Alan is that Newcastle have only won 4 home games all season so there`ll have to be a massive turnaround of form.

Alan knows Newcastle face some hard games but he will be rallying the troops as they must start picking up points if they are to survive the drop. He needs to get the backing of the St James` Park faithful too as Newcastle need them now more than ever. I also think he`ll stick with Michael Owen despite the criticism of the striker in the press.

Alan will obviously make up his own mind on team selection but I do know he is a big fan of Michael and he`ll know better than anyone that if he needs someone to take goal scoring chances in the remaining games, there is no-one better at the club than Michael in putting the ball in the back of the net.’

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