- 'Disappointed by Coloccini letter'
- 'Newcastle are in a mess'
- 'Fans would be devastated by relegation'
- 'No guarantee club would return'
Alan Shearer says he was "taken aback" by relegation-threatened Newcastle's captain Fabricio Coloccini writing a letter to fans asking for their support.
The club's all-time record goalscorer told BBC's Football Focus that it was up to players to give fans "something to shout about", adding he was "disappointed" by Coloccini's actions.
Newcastle's Premier League future is under threat after a run of eight successive defeats, with fans boycotting matches and both owner Mike Ashley and manager John Carver under severe pressure. Two days of talks between players, management and ownership were held prior to the captain's letter to supporters.
With three games left to preserve their top-flight status, former captain and manager Shearer described relegation as a "dreadful feeling" and warned there was "no guarantee" Newcastle would get back into the Premier League soon.
Newcastle are two points above the relegation zone after a week in which Carver accused defender Mike Williamson of being sent off deliberately, Coloccini and goalkeeper Tim Krul reportedly had a row on the team bus, the club held two days of "frank dialogue", Derby boss Steve McClaren turned down the manager's job at St James' Park and Coloccini then shared his thoughts with fans.
'I was disappointed in Coloccini'
AS: "I was surprised that Coloccini had written a letter to the fans asking them to stick with the team. If there is one thing that is pretty much guaranteed at Newcastle, it's that the fans will turn up and support. Despite there being protests and fans not turning up for specific games, there has always been 46,000-plus there. So for a player to come out and ask the fans to still support them, I was a bit taken aback and disappointed in that.
"First and foremost, the players have got to give the fans something to shout about. That has to come first and for a long time the fans haven't had anything to shout about."
'Poor communication at the club'
AS: "Newcastle fans love their football club through thick and thin. It's their life. It's what they work all week for. It depends on the result on Saturday if they have a good week or a bad week, and too many times this season and last season they have had bad weeks.
"It wouldn't be so bad if they could say they have been in a decent cup run but they have been knocked out in cup competitions in the very early rounds because the manager has played weakened teams. Whether the manager has to play weakened teams or he is asked to play weakened teams, nobody knows because there is no communication from anyone at Newcastle United. It's disappointing."
'Another relegation would be devastating'
Shearer is asked whether they would take relegation and a regime change. The Magpies were relegated in 2009, while Shearer was in temporary charge.
AS: "The fans are desperate to stay in the Premier League. They have had a taste of relegation, I had a taste of relegation. It's not nice. It's a dreadful feeling. We were fortunate to get back in the Premier League at the first attempt. The fans would be absolutely devastated if the club was to be relegated again. There is no guarantee they would come back so soon this time."
'Not surprised by McClaren's decision'
Derby manager Steve McClaren was offered the chance to take charge of team matters for the last three games of the season, but turned it down. Shearer is asked whether the former England boss would have made a difference.
AS: "No, I don't think it would have. It's a very difficult club to manage under the current circumstances. The best players are sold. We know Newcastle are a selling club now. You can't continue to sell your best players and hope to achieve something. We all know the ambition is to finish mid-table, which is hard for fans to take."
'Newcastle is a mess'
AS: "It has been another crazy week at Newcastle. It doesn't surprise me. Nothing surprises me at Newcastle, I am afraid. It's a mess, it's a mess. They need desperately to get a win from somewhere, but where is that going to come from? I don't know, because the form has been pretty dreadful and players' confidence is zero. But they have got to scrape a win in the three remaining games."