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Southgate: No Tyne for hyperbole
Published : 10 May 2009 12:53:00
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate will be at odds with former England team-mate Alan Shearer when the pair meet in a do-or-die battle on Monday night. Shearer, who took on the task of dragging Newcastle out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone last month, admitted on Thursday the latest Tyne-Tees derby is the biggest game of even his illustrious career. But while victory for the Magpies would take them out of the bottom three after Hull's home defeat by Stoke, Southgate insists the crucial contest is only the most important because it is the next one. He said: "It's pointless going back to games you have played in the past. You would have to question whether this is bigger than the game where we had waited 128 years to win a trophy - you have to question whether it is bigger than a European final. "But, because it's the next game and the task ahead of us is to stay in the league, yes it is - but last week's was and next week's will be. "There's a sense of perspective in that. We love to hype matches - this obviously has tremendous importance for both teams, and other teams at the bottom of the table, but there are still two more games to play after it. If we win, we still need other results to get ourselves over the line."