The former Leeds youngster is another who has missed large chunks of the season through injury, restricting him to just four appearances this campaign, but Shearer is convinced the 28-year-old can play a big part in the run-in.
Shearer: "I was very pleased with Alan when he came on.
"It was the first time he's played for a while and his energy levels were very good.
"He came on and did a job and I was happy with him. I've spoken to him and he is desperate to play his part.
"It's a case of number of games with Alan though, because he's not played a tremendous amount.
"But he will play a part and we'll have to wait and see whether that's from the start or coming from the bench."