Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer heaps praise on Steve Bruce - and sends strong message to Mike Ashley
Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has heaped praise on Steve Bruce and urged Mike Ashley to “break the bank” and sign Joe Willock.
The Arsenal loanee equalled Shearer’s record of scoring in seven consecutive games for the Magpies as they recorded a 2-0 win at Fulham on the final day of the season.
Fabian Schar also scored from the spot, with Bruce’s men going on to better last season’s points total by one point and finished in 12th position.
Following a 3-0 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion in March, United looked destined for relegation as calls for Bruce to be sacked reached boiling point.
However, an unbeaten April – where the 60-year-old was crowned as manager of the month – proved the catalyst for survival and the club’s strong end to the campaign.
Having lost just twice in their last nine matches, Shearer believes Bruce and his team “deserve all the credit” for the turnaround.
Speaking on Match of the Day, Shearer said: "I think well done to Steve Bruce and his team for the way they've turned it around. It's been a long, hard season.
"They've finished on 45 points, in 12th position and I think that's as good as they could have done. They deserve all the credit."
Willock’s form also played a huge part in United’s successful battle against the drop.
The club’s fanbase and Bruce himself are desperate for the 21-year-old to remain on Tyneside next season.
Indeed, Shearer is no different, urging Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley to do whatever it takes to finalise a permanent deal.
He said: "He's exactly what Newcastle have been needing and missing and as I said, it's been a great signing by Steve Bruce because he offers Newcastle legs in that midfield.
"He drives forward and not many teams have been able to handle him.
"Look at the skill and pace he shows to get up there for the goal. He's full of confidence and so he should be. He's had a brilliant time at Newcastle.
"They have to try and break the bank and be desperate to try and keep hold of him. He's having fun in that Newcastle shirt.