Alan Shearer believes that expectations at Newcastle are the highest they've been in a long time, and the Toon legend said that the club will need to hold onto their best players if they hope to continue their success.

After losing the likes of Andy Carroll, Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique last summer, the north eastern side looked down and out, and some were predicting the club for relegation back into the Championship just a season after they came up.

But the club not only survived the Premier League last season, they pushed for a Champions League position; and Shearer believes that how they handle this summer will be the biggest factor in whether they can keep up that success.

"There will be a big expectation with Newcastle," he told the Journal. "That's the way it has always worked up here.

Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew is hoping to sign more players, and Alan Shearer believes Newcastle need them.

"For me, it will all depend on what sums of money the club spend. Or whether they keep hold of some of their top players. So, at the minute, it's too early to predict what is going to happen at Newcastle.

"I certainly hope they kick on because they had a great season last time. And, of course, they might be playing 60 games in a season as well. I can't remember if I ever did that; it was so long ago.

"But that is going to be an awful lot to cope with. It's going to be tough for them to play on Thursday nights, if they get into the Europa League [group stage], and then on a Sunday. So I'm sure a pretty big squad is needed."

Newcastle have so far been rather quiet with their confirmed transfers this summer; Congolese midfielder Gael Bigirimana and Reims man Romain Amalfitano making moves to the club.

But Alan Pardew insisted yesterday that there are still players on the Toon's radar, with the manager saying that deals will be done in the next two weeks.