Alan Shearer hits back at critics of ex-Sunderland manager
Alan Shearer says Steve Bruce can keep Newcastle United up – if he’s backed in January’s transfer window.
The club is 16th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
A goal from Matty Longstaff gave Newcastle a 1-0 home win over Manchester United before the break – eased the pressure on the former Sunderland manager.
Shearer warned Bruce, a close friend, against walking into what he described as a “toxic” situation in the summer.
However, Shearer – who opened a new floodlit 3G pitch at Wallsend Boys Club last week – does believe that the 58-year-old can keep the club up.
“I was delighted for him,” said Shearer. “I was delighted for the team, because when you put in a performance like they did (in the 5-0 defeat to Leicester City), you know you’re going to get battered.
“They’ve had a hammering, and rightly so, but you always get a right to reply as a footballer and football manager.
“If you get a result like that, it certainly gives you something to go and build on. It’s been a mixture. I mean, there have been some poor performances. Norwich away and Leicester away were terrible. Then you look at Tottenham and Man United. There’s something in there to work with.”
Bruce has already had to contend with a number of injury problems, and Shearer, Newcastle's all-time record goalscorer, knows that United’s head coach can ill-afford to lose any key players.
Shearer also hopes that Bruce – who he feels has had to “put up with a lot of c**p” – is able to strengthen his squad in the New Year.
“If you can keep the majority of the squad fit, then I think they’ll do all right,” said Shearer. “Then if you look at investment in January, and hopefully that’ll come as well.
“I think it (the Man United win) was a huge relief to everyone, including Steve, who I was delighted for, because he’s had to put up with a lot of c*** over the last couple of weeks.”
The new pitch at Wallsend Boys Club was made possible thanks to a £564,799 grant from the Premier