Shearer backs Pardew
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer believes Alan Pardew deserves the chance to put things right at St James' Park.
The Magpies ended last season in 16th place in the Barclays Premier League after a desperate fight against relegation, and there have been concerted calls for the 51-year-old's head from a growing and vociferous section of the club's support.
However, Shearer is adamant the man who secured a shock fifth-placed finish 12 months earlier has earned the right to address what went wrong having been given the green light to carry on by owner Mike Ashley last week. He told the Journal: "I think he deserves to keep his job because of the season before. He bought himself time."
Shearer added: "The nature of the game is he is under pressure and he knows that, but I'm delighted they stuck with him. You don't become a bad manager in one season.
"I'm pleased they stuck by him. He will feel they have to get off to a good start as you always do, but fingers crossed that will happen."
Shearer's comments came as the Journal's sister paper, the Chronicle, published the results of an end-of-season poll of fans which illustrated just how divided supporters are over Pardew.
Just 27.8 per cent of those who responded said the manager should keep his job, while a further 28.5 per cent agreed he deserved a chance to turn things around. However, 43.7 per cent wanted him to be sacked immediately.
Shearer said: "It was a disappointing season, everyone will tell you the same thing. But they have got a chance to try and rectify that next season, and hopefully they will purchase some players in the summer that will allow them to come strong again.
"I don't know how much they have got available to spend, if anything, I wouldn't like to say. Hopefully there's some money for the manager to spend and I'm sure he's hoping that as well.
"He needs to get them in as soon as possible so he can get his preparations started."