Alan Shearer believes Newcastle United need Champions League ‘miracle’ claim amid Bruno and Howe praise
The Magpies legend has discussed his old club’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
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Alan Shearer has called for ‘patience and a little bit of understanding’ as Newcastle United look to qualify for Europe for the first time in a decade.
Despite an underwhelming run of recent form, the Magpies remain in contention for a place in next season’s Champions League and current sit four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur - but also have the benefit of holding two games in hand on Antonio Conte’s men.
The mood around Tyneside throughout the season has been a complete contrast to what was experienced just over 12 months ago, when thoughts were off avoiding relegation into the Championship, rather than pushing for a return to competing alongside the elite of European football.
Shearer hailed United manager Eddie Howe for keeping his side in the top five for the majority of the season, describing their performance as ‘a remarkable acheivement’ and insisted his old club will only get stronger as they continue to develop their squad over the coming transfer window.
Speaking to William Hill at the North East Football Writers Awards on Sunday night, the former Magpies captain said: “I think it would be a miracle if Newcastle were to get into the top four. The job that Eddie Howe is doing with the squad that he has got, and when you compare it to all of the others in the top four race that he is battling against, to be in third/fourth/fifth for most of the season is a remarkable achievement.
“If they were to finish in any European place then that would be classed as a great season because looking back to where they were and where they are, it’s a huge, giant step in such a small amount of time. It’s going to take patience and little bit of understanding, but the more transfer windows they have and as they bring in better players, the better it will be. And that is going to happen, so it is only going to be a matter of time.”
Shearer was one of a number of individuals with Magpies connections on hand to witness current United star Bruno Guimaraes being named as North East Player of the Year - 20 years after the former England captain received the same award from the region’s football writers.
Shearer praised the impact the Brazil star has made since he moved to Tyneside in a £40m move from Lyon in January 2022 and described the midfielder as ‘an exceptional talent’.
“Bruno Guimaraes thoroughly deserves the award,” he said.
“He has taken to the North East and Newcastle have taken to him and rightly so. He is an exceptional talent, everything that goes through Newcastle goes through him and long may that continue. He deserves it absolutely.”