O'Neill Tells Fred To Wait
But Hiddink, currently in charge of Dutch outfit PSV and the Australian national team, has made it clear his ambitions lie on the international stage and not in the Premiership. He is the contender to replace Sven Goran Eriksson when he steps down as England coach in the summer, a job also courted by the "official" Toon target Martin O'Neill.
But England, like Newcastle, could also miss out because Hiddink has also admitted holding talks about becoming the next manager of Russia.
Shepherd has admitted he is prepared to be patient in appointing a new manager - mainly because of the amazing record of caretaker Glenn Roeder - but also because he has been told to take a step back in his pursuit of Martin O'Neill. Newcastle are understood to have made an approach to the former Celtic boss over the vacant job at St James' Park, but O'Neill has told Shepherd he won't be rushed into deciding his future.
Shepherd is grateful to Roeder for buying him extra time in which to search for a replacement to Graeme Souness, but he will not be given the job on a permanent basis despite his unbeaten run.
Shepherd: "We always intended to take our time over the appointment of a full-time manager and that is still the case as we consider our options very carefully."