Shearer has also moved to boost discipline at the club with training invigorated to raise players' fitness and a series of fines imposed to punish poor time-keeping.
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"If anyone can get us to win the next two games and go to Villa still in it, then it's him. Players respond to discipline and that's been needed."
Duff, who has been deployed at left-back by Shearer due to injury problems, added: "Whatever job needs doing for the team then I'll do it. Since the gaffer's come in he's brought Iain Dowie and the training has been excellent."