Date: 12th May 2007 at 9:13am
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Having kept quiet on the subject so far, manager in waiting Alan Shearer has finally come out and nailed his colours to the Big Sam mast, after meeting with Freddie Shepherd himself in the last week. Shearer said:

“I believe Sam Allardyce has the sort of strong personality to sort out Newcastle and set them in the right direction again. The job he has done at Bolton has been unbelievable. It is clear he can motivate players.

He comes across as a straight-talking manager who gets his message across to the players. And he will not take any messing around either. That is what you need at a club – someone single-minded and strong.

He has taken players from all sorts of clubs and from all different parts of the world. Just look at some of the names he has had who have played at the very top, like Djorkaeff, Anelka, Campo. He has got them playing for Bolton and helping to make the club into a Premiership force.

He has also discovered some great players as well and reinvigorated those who looked on their way out. He went into that club and laid down the foundations for success – and this is what Newcastle needs. I don’t claim to know the man well personally. But I am good friends with Gary Speed at Bolton and he is a massive fan of Sam.

You do not get up to fifth or sixth in the Premiership table by playing a long-ball game. Neither can you play it with players like Anelka and El-Hadji Diouf in the side. I have seen Bolton play many times and theirs is effective and successful football. And every club wants that.’

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