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Mark Viduka backs Alan Shearer to stay at Newcastle
Published : 12 May 2009 20:59:19Rss feed
The 38 year-old former Magpies and England captain sampled victory for the first time as boss at St James' Park as his side came from behind to defeat derby rivals Middlesbrough 3-1 and give themselves a genuine chance of Barclays Premier League survival. Shearer's maiden win was his home town club's first at St James' Park since December 21 and was enough to lift them out of the drop zone, where they were replaced by plummeting Hull. Related ArticlesPremier League will be poorer without HiddinkTaylor: Victory down to ShearerShearer: Newcastle not safeOwen questions decision to drop him at AnfieldAlan Shearer hoping Joey Barton can save NewcastleNewcastle target Middlesbrough derby as key to Premier League survivalHowever, Viduka is keeping his fingers crossed that Shearer will steer the club to safety, an achievement that would increase the calls for owner Mike Ashley to retain his services on a permanent basis. The 33-year-old said: "He's had a massive impact. Everybody respects Alan – he's got that automatically. Maybe he doesn't have the experience as a manager, but he has got that presence about him. "I wish him all the best – and I hope we stay up and he's got a long career here." Shearer was fulsome in his praise of the Australian's performance against his former club after his emergence from an injury nightmare which has ruined what seems certain to be his final season on Tyneside. Asked about his manager's glowing tribute, Viduka said: "It's great. I was a massive fan of Alan's. He knows what striking is all about, he knows the position and it's an honour. "Since Alan came back, the first thing he did was ask me whether I was in or out, and I want to keep this club up, that's the most important thing – as do the rest of the players. "It meant so much to us last night to get this win. It's a derby game, it's always a difficult game – the last two years I have played here, I don't think we have beaten them – and on such an important occasion, we did the business."