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Man Utd will be hoping to get back on the winning trail this Sunday against Aston Villa – a side they’ve only lost once to in their last 25 head-to-heads.

Alan Shearer has confirmed that he will return to Newcastle United as manager until the end of the season.

Former QPR boss Iain Dowie will be his assistant and coaches Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood will stay on, but director Dennis Wise has left the club.

Shearer, 38, becomes Newcastle’s fourth manager of the season and has eight games to save them from relegation.

“It’s a club I love and I don’t want them to go down. I’ll do everything I can to stop that,” he told BBC Sport.

“I feel deeply for this football club. I believe I can help it along with the players.”

Newcastle in the bottom three, two points adrift of safety, but Shearer believes there is cause for optimism.

“There is a nucleus of good players that can get the club out of trouble,” he said.

“There are very, very good players that are just lacking in confidence and it’s up to myself and the rest of the staff to get the best out of them.”

Shearer said he was confident the fans would be on his side and added their backing would be vital.

“We are going to need every ounce of effort from the players and the supporters,” he said.

“The supporters are well renowned and I know they won’t let us down. They never do and I hope we can repay them with a performance.”

He also insisted his appointment was only a short-term measure.

“This is for an eight-game spell, I’m looking no further than that, I can promise you that,” he said.

“Joe Kinnear is in the job at the moment. He is recovering well and we wish him well, but I am here for eight games only to try and keep the club in the Premier League.”

Managing director Derek Llambias said: “Everyone at Newcastle United is absolutely delighted that Alan has taken on this challenge.

“Already there is a buzz around the club and the city. The news has given everyone a massive boost.”

Shearer scored 206 goals in 404 appearances during a 10-year playing spell at Newcastle to earn legendary status on Tyneside after joining for a record £15m fee from Blackburn.

He retired from playing in 2006 and made no secret of his desire to move into management at some stage.

Man Utd will be hoping to get back on the winning trail this Sunday against Aston Villa – a side they’ve only lost once to in their last 25 head-to-heads.

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