(CNN) -- Former Newcastle United hero Alan Shearer has been confirmed as the struggling Premier League club's new manager on Wednesday.
Alan Shearer is a Newcastle legend after scoring a club record 206 goals for the Magpies.
The 38-year-old ex-England striker will take over for the remaining eight matches of the season in an attempt to prevent his hometown club from being relegated to the Championship.
The Magpies, who face Chelsea at home on Saturday, are currently in 18th place in the Premier League table and two points adrift of safety with time fast running out.
Shearer joined Newcastle in 1996 for a then British record fee of £15 million, after winning a Premier League title medal with Blackburn, and retired at the end of the 2005-06 season having established himself as the club's leading scorer of all time with 206 goals -- eclipsing the legendary Jackie Milburn's tally.
Shearer has appointed former Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie as his assistant, although Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood -- who were standing in for Joe Kinnear following his triple heart by-pass operation -- will remain at the club as coaches.
The pair had been in charge since Kinnear was forced to take a back seat after undergoing surgery -- and it is not known whether he will be given the all-clear to resume his managerial career.
Shearer told PA Sport: "I got a call over the weekend off Derek Llambias (managing director) and Mike Ashley (owner) and I went round for a chat.
"They kindly asked if I would take charge for the remaining eight games and I asked for a little time to think and spoke to a few people.
"It's a club I love and I, just like many thousands of people, desperately don't want the club to go down and I will do everything I can to try to prevent that.
"It's a tough situation Newcastle are in and I feel deeply for this club. I believe I can help it along with the players, there is a nucleus here that can get this club out of trouble. They are very good players lacking confidence and it's up to me and the staff to get the best out of them."
Shearer, who has completed all but one of his coaching badges and is still to gain his FIFA Pro Licence, will hold his first training session with the squad on Thursday and will then be officially unveiled at a press conference at St James' Park in the afternoon.
His arrival coincides with the departure of executive director of football Dennis Wise, who has left his position after just over a year in the job.
Wise was Leeds manager when he was recruited by Ashley in January 2008 as part of an overhaul of the management structure which also saw the appointment of Tony Jimenez as vice-president (player recruitment), who has also since departed.
Wise's brief was to focus on transfers, scouting and youth development but it was an appointment which proved unpopular with fans and was not welcomed by former manager Kevin Keegan, who was brought in around the same time but resigned in September last year.
Shearer, who rejected the chance to join Keegan's coaching staff, had been critical of the structure at the club and Wise's role in particular.