The Newcastle born coach told BBC Online: "I think he has wonderful potential to be a manager. The ingredients are already set there for him.
"What he needs to do now is to be fast-tracked in terms of understanding that playing and coaching are totally different.
"If he gets the right people around him then I think he has all the ingredients to be an excellent manager.
"Plus, his status at Newcastle would give him a head start with the fans."
Merrington also says that he was not surprised by Shearer’s personality clash with Ruud Gullit, commenting: "I think there would be an obvious clash between Ruud Gullit and Alan.
"One of the things I tried to develop with the Southampton youngsters was for them to never be afraid to go into the dressing-room and express themselves.
"We taught them that you must always question 'why?'
"If a player is dealing with a coach and something's not right then I think the player is entitled to say 'why are we doing this?'
"If Alan thought Gullit wasn't right and something was wrong or that Gullit didn't explain himself, he would say so."
Well whatever the truth behind Shearer and Gullit’s falling out, it’s all worked out pretty well now.
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