Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United legend, Alan Shearer has backed both of his former clubs to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season, believing both have the management structure and squad to stay up. Shearer, who leads the all time Premier League goal-scoring charts with 260 goals, won the Premiership title with Rovers in 1995, before later joining hometown club Newcastle for a then world record fee of £15 million.
And the BBC pundit is confident both clubs have the necessary firepower up front to score the goals that keeps them well away from the dreaded drop to the Championship. “I’m confident both clubs will stay up," he exclusively told FourFourTwo.com.
"When I look at the teams down there I look at their firepower and their ability to score goals. Newcastle have got players like [Michael] Owen, [Obafemi] Martins and [Mark] Viduka, and Blackburn have got [Benni] McCarthy, [Roque] Santa Cruz and [Jason] Roberts. Both teams have got enough goalscorers to get them out of trouble.”
Both of the ex-England captain's old clubs have had to endure their fair share of turmoil and uncertainty this campaign, with Blackburn sacking manager Paul Ince after just six months.
While the Magpies now face a lengthy spell without boss Joe Kinnear, after the former Wimbledon and Luton chief recently underwent heart surgery.
And Shearer is uncertain about the Toon's plight with their manager facing a prolonged period on the sidelines.
“It’s hard to say what will happen with the Newcastle management," he said. "Joe Kinnear is having a triple heart bypass operation so we don’t know whether he’s going to be able to come back to work for the club again or not.
"He’s done a decent job since coming in and everyone obviously wishes him all the best. It’s now up to Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood to steady the ship and steer Newcastle to Premier League safety. The club have only won once in nine games so they are still very much in a relegation battle.” Shearer is, however, far more confident Rovers - under former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce - can steer well clear of trouble and secure their top-flight status for another year.
Since Big Sam's arrival at the end of December, the Ewood Park outfit have lost just one of 11 games with him in charge, and could face Chelsea in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals should they successfully negotiate a replay at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena.
“Allardyce will get Blackburn out of trouble – definitely," he said. "I don’t know what went on behind the scenes with Sam at Newcastle, but his record at a smaller club – Bolton – was exceptional and I’m sure he’ll be looking to achieve similar success at Blackburn.”
Alan Shearer is an ambassador for Castrol - FIFA World Cup 2010 tournament sponsors.
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