Date: 23rd December 2005 at 2:16pm
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Graeme Souness has asked his skipper to consider putting off his retirement for a second time. Shearer was persuaded to stay on at St James’ Park for one more year after originally declaring he would hang up his boots at the end of last season.

Souness: ‘We’ll see what happens over the next six months, but I certainly wouldn’t close any doors. It would have to come from him, but if he’s still playing like he has in recent weeks, he has an enormous part to play.

‘I said last year that I do not see a player on the training ground who is ready to pack in and there’s nothing that’s happened since which suggests that has changed. It’s like everything – if you’re enjoying it, why stop?

‘I think that since his hernia operation – only he knows how much he was being held back – he looks to have found another yard from somewhere. And that’s coupled with the fact he’s now playing with Michael. He really enjoys that. They have an understanding that goes back to when they played together with England.’