SIR Bobby Robson will tonight defy Alan Shearer by refusing to satisfy the Newcastle United captain's insatiable appetite for football.

Even though Shearer maintained last month that he does not want to miss any games, Robson will resist the temptation to play his talisman for the duration of their Worthington Cup third round tie with Everton.

The Newcastle manager is expected to include Shearer in his 16 on duty at St James' Park, but is loath to risk him for the entire 90 minutes and a possible further half-hour of extra time.

Robson said: "Alan has given all he's got for us and we have to remember we have a huge game with Feyenoord next Wednesday.

"I'll see how the players are feeling after the Middlesbrough match before picking my team, but we can't be going into the Feyenoord game with tired players."

Robson will probably name Michael Chopra among the substitutes but he will give the 18-year-old his senior debut tonight.

He said: "I'm not here for stardust; I'm here to win matches, and I'm going to play a team that I think can win.

"But Chopra is a fantastic young kid and he'll be involved in some capacity."

Kieron Dyer, Lomano LuaLua and Hugo Viana, who has voiced his unhappiness at not figuring prominently in Newcastle's recent matches, are likely to start tonight.

Steve Harper could displace Shay Given, while there could be rare call-ups for Carl Cort and Clarence Acuna.

Everton manager David Moyes is sympathetic with Newcastle's plight in having to play two matches in 48 hours following Monday's Premiership derby with Boro.

He said: "Newcastle have bigger engagements in the coming days than Everton and I feel sorry for them that they have had to play on Monday and Wednesday.

"It seems to me that if you are successful in this country it often works against you."

l The Football Association's search for a successor to chief executive Adam Crozier will begin on Monday.

The FA board, including its influential members from the Premier League who were believed to have been behind Crozier's departure from Soho Square, are set to discuss a number of candidates at a board meeting as they attempt to fill a role which appears to have been substantially weakened.

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has refused to rule himself out of the running, while admitting there was very little chance of him actually getting the job given his disputes with the game's rulers.

Simon Lewis, a former PR consultant to the Queen, and agent Andrew Croker, son of former FA chief executive Ted, have been mentioned as possible options, although the early favourite is Keith Harris, who departed his position as chairman of the Football League following the collapse of ITV Digital and the subsequent High Court defeat