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GAZZA: I want to manage Newcastle united.

Byline: By Helen Rae

Former Toon star Paul Gascoigne said he wants to beat his pal Alan Shearer to the top job at Newcastle United.

Gazza, who was sacked from non-league side Kettering Town after only 39 days amid claims he had been drunk on the job, said he would like to pip Shearer to the post in a bid to manage Newcastle United.

He said: "I'm great friends with Shearer and I think he will be the next manager of Newcastle United. There's no doubt he would do a great job and would like to give it a go.

"But I'd love to manage the club before him."

However, Gazza said he does not think the job will be up for grabs soon.

"I think Glenn Roeder is doing a decent job and the fans just need to give him time.

"He did really well for the club last season," he said.

The football legend is part of Sky One's TV show The Match, which will see a team of celebrities take on a squad of ex-pros at St James' Park tomorrow

Gateshead-born Gazza, 39, who has not played for Newcastle United since 1988, said he has missed playing for his home team and would love to have the opportunity to play in a black and white shirt again.

"I've been looking forward to playing at St James' Park and it's great to be able to play at the stadium in front of my home crowd for The Match," he explained.

"The reception I get in the North East beats anywhere else. At times I find it hard to watch Newcastle United play on the TV because I want to be playing on the pitch with them.

"I'd love to put a black and white shirt on for one last time and play for the club."

He added: "When Shearer retired I wondered how he'd feel about it but he seems happy with what he's doing.

"He's been a brilliant player for the club and country. He's a legend and makes the right choices at the right time."

It is the third time The Match has been staged on Tyneside and the celeb squad, managed by ex-England boss Graham Taylor, is determined to beat the veterans this time round.

They have been preparing at Newcastle United's academy at Benton following training at La Manga in Spain.

Viewers have been voting players out of the squad every night on Sky One and the final 16 will go head-to-head with a side led by ex-Sunderland manager Peter Reid.

Ex-pro Gazza said he thinks his team has a good chance of winning.

He said: "We've a strong team with good goalscorers."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 7, 2006
Words:449
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