Date: 22nd December 2005 at 1:44pm
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As we all know, Alan Shearer is one goal away from Jackie Milburn’s Newcastle goalscoring record. But Graeme Souness says the welfare of his number nine is more important over the Christmas period than history books.

Souness: ‘We will have to make sure that we take care of Alan over the Christmas period. There are an awful lot of games to play in a very short space of time and we have got to be sensible.


‘At 25, I would think that Michael will be better able to play in all of the games. He hasn’t played a lot of football recently and I would have no qualms about asking him to do that. But the situation with Alan is a little bit different. He is older than Michael and we can’t expect him to do quite as much.

‘Alan is only one behind the record now and I’m sure that he will be wanting to play in every game. But I have got to stand back from things a bit and realise that that might not be possible.’

Shola Ameobi, Michael Chopra and Albert Luque all capable of stepping in over the Christmas campaign, but Shearer is unique, and don’t we know it.