Rafa Benitez reveals what Newcastle legend Alan Shearer told him over coffee

Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez.

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Rafa Benitez says he was happy to sit down with Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer – and pick his brains.

Benitez met Shearer, now a Match of the Day pundit, for coffee during the international break.

Newcastle’s manager was keen to hear what the club’s all-time record goalscorer had to say.

Shearer – who also had a brief spell in charge of United in 2009 – was critical of United under Steve McClaren during last season’s relegation battle.

But the 46-year-old is pleased to see club challenging at the top end of the Championship.

Benitez said: “Alan is a legend here.

I spent some time with him and asked him for some advice because he has experience.

Rafa Benitez

“He’s a fantastic player and a top expert and pundit, but it’s time to concentrate on the games for us and that’s it.

“I spent some time with him and asked him for some advice because he has experience.

“He knows the fans, the club, the city – everything. It was more asking him advice – ‘please, tell me if we have made any mistakes’.

“He was fine, he said it is going well so far. He said we are doing well and going in the right direction. He was happy to see the club going in the right direction.

“He was supportive. He’s happy with the way things are going on.”

Asked if Shearer could have a role at the club in future, Benitez added: “Everyone knows he is a legend, and that’s it.

“We’ll leave it there and we’ll have plenty of time to talk about it in the future.”

Speaking to Coral, Shearer said: “I had a coffee with Rafa in the week, and he’s reasonably happy with the way things are going.

“He’s loving life at Newcastle, and hopefully long may that continue.

“He has (big aspirations for the club), and he, like everyone else, knows the aim is to get back into the Premier League this season – not next season, this season.

“They’re on track to do that. He knows it’s a long, hard slog and it won’t be easy but he’s confident in his players. He’s got a group of players who he feels he can work with and improve.”