Shearer confident Newcastle can succeed in Europe

The Magpies' record goalscorer was part of the side that was knocked out by Sporting Lisbon at the quarter-final stage in 2005, but insists the current Toon crop can go all the way
Alan Shearer is backing the current Newcastle side to go all the way in the Europa League and exorcise the demons from their last visit to Lisbon. 

The Magpies record goalscorer was part of the Toon side that were knocked out by Sporting Lisbon at the quarter-final stage eight years ago, which was followed by FA Cup heartbreak three days later in what Shearer describes as "one of the worst weeks" of his career.

Despite languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table, Alan Pardew's troops travel to the Portuguese capital once more to take on Benfica in the first leg of their last-eight clash harbouring serious hope of ending their 44-year trophy drought.

And Shearer sees no reason why his former club can't overcome the Eagles and go all the way in Europe this season, while also retaining their top-flight status, following the club's big-money acquisitions in the January window.

“When they drew ­Benfica, it did bring all those memories flooding back," Shearer remarked to the Daily Star.

“But the first thing I thought was how lucky they were to have the ­second leg at St James’. That can be a big advantage.

“They’ve got a good chance. The additions made in January have made all the difference.

“I have no worries about them being relegated, though I did ­before all those signings. The squad’s been strengthened with quality additions.”