Newcastle United have today released a must-watch interview with Alan Shearer from St James’ Park, seeing our all-time top scorer discuss all things NUFC from the home dressing room.
In his first official interview with the club since new owners arrived last October, the 51-year-old has praised the feel-good atmosphere around St James’ Park and looked forward to what he feels will be an exciting future for the club.
Shearer has also praised the job Eddie Howe has done so far, believing he has not only brought in the right players at the right time in January, but improved the squad’s confidence levels, instilled belief into the group and got everyone connected to the club pulling in the same direction,
Here’s some of the best bits from his 15-minute chat with NUFC TV’s Tom Easterby…
Shearer on recent form, the relegation battle and the bigger picture moving forward:
“Well, we’re sat talking after three straight defeats, which isn’t great!
“I thought they played very well at Chelsea and didn’t deserve to be beaten. At Everton it wasn’t a great performance and then of course, the Tottenham game. We were going really well in the first half and then that all disappeared in the second half.
“But in the in the bigger picture there’s no doubt it’s a better, more healthy football club.
“From where we were this ambition and atmosphere is a million times better – before during, and after games.
“The communication is much better from everyone within the within the football club. And the fans are all on the same page again, and I think that was hugely important because for many years, there was a lot of bickering, a lot of fighting, which wasn’t healthy.
“But everyone seems to be rowing in the same direction and it’s a matter of this season staying in the Premier League, which I’m pretty certain we will do.
“I think, maybe just need one more win. That should be enough because of other teams where they are. And then we can and then the club can build again and and then see what happens in the future.
“But it’s a far more healthy football club now than it was.”
Shearer on nine-game unbeaten run and upturn in form since January:
“Obviously signing players in January was was huge. Signing some good players and good characters. I think that was that was important.
“The money that was spent was around about 80 or 90 million pound which was huge for the football club and exactly what it needed.
“Otherwise it would have been a long hard struggle. And there was a lot of people who were doubting Newcastle [in relegation battle] and had to because of the position that they were in and the form that they were showing, but Eddie’s come in and done really well.
“He’s settled everything down, brought in the players that were needed to bring in at this stage to take Newcastle out of that relegation zone. And then as I said, it’s a matter of securing our Premier League status and then looking to build again in the summer.”
Shearer on the job Eddie Howe has done so far:
“Eddie knew what his job was when he when he came in. I mean, this season it was to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.
“They were in such a tough, difficult position and in all probability might have gone down if they hadn’t spent what they spent in January and done he has.
“What he’s done is he’s given the squad confidence. He’s given them a belief. I know what’s happened in the last three games hasn’t been great, but it’s a matter of getting back on track.
“As I said, I think they need three points.
“I mean, it won’t guarantee safety, but I believe that will that will be enough and then kicking on next season.
Shearer on the change of atmosphere around the club and how that helps the players:
“From a players point of view, you can imagine walking into an atmosphere [under Mike Ashley] that’s not great at all. When there’s no expectation, there’s no real atmosphere to get you going and it’s difficult.
“That’s not the Newcastle United now. I mean when you walk in, I’ve been to the stadium. I’ve sampled the atmosphere. I’ve been in a bar before and after a game and it’s totally different.
“There’s anticipation, there’s excitement, there’s expectation. So when you put all that together that bodes for a great atmosphere.
“It’s like it’s like what it was in the 90s when I was back when I was playing here, and from a player’s point of view, it’s brilliant, a much better atmosphere and it makes you feel better and makes you play better.
“So yeah, it’s back to what it was back in the back in the 90s. And that’s what I remember. This football club. That’s what it was all about. It’s about the fans and being in the pubs enjoying it because in this area, people work so hard all week to come and spend their money here at St. James’s Park on a Saturday and have a bit of fun, and it’s back to being that.
“When you’re when you’re playing in a happy environment, it makes you feel better.
“When you come into a stadium and you know that it’s not so nice, it’s not so good, the atmosphere is not great – for a player that’s difficult.
“It’s far, far easier when you know you’re coming into a supportive expecting atmosphere. The fans want to cheer you on and that comes from the top – that atmosphere without doubt comes from the top and it’s great to have St James’s Park back rocking again, it really is.”
Shearer on his hopes for the future and excitement levels ahead this new era at Newcastle United:
I’m just happy to see the club have a bit of ambition again – have a bit of hope again. Because for so many years, there wasn’t any of that.
“There was ‘Oh no, we’re out of every cup competition early’, we were fighting relegation. We were relegated and we came back up.
“So I’m just I’m just happy to see everyone rowing in the same direction. I’m happy to see the atmosphere inside St. James’s Park. I love what Wor Flags do with with trying to generate that.
“I love seeing everyone being on the same page and fighting and scrapping for the for the football club.
“It’s been tough for the last three games – only because of what’s gone on before that, as there was an expectancy and and a level of hope again [after our unbeaten run].
“So I’m just delighted to see that all that back and be seeing St. James’s Park having that great atmosphere that we know it generates again.
“Things will get better, they’ll improve. I’m pretty sure we will stay up and then we’ll get bigger and better next season will be on Friday.”
Last but not least, Shearer had this to say when looking back at his 10 years on Tyneside as a player: