Newcastle's 'Survival Sunday' match bigger than cup final says Alan Shearer
22 May 2009 10:26
Aston Villa v Newcastle United
Kick-off: Sun May 24, 4.00pm, Villa Park, Birmingham
TV: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports HD1
Radio: BBC Radio Five Live
The 38-year-old will send his side out at Villa Park knowing even victory may not be enough to keep Newcastle in the top flight on what could be a dark day for his hometown club.
Shearer said: 'It's bigger than a cup final, a hell of a lot bigger than a cup final.
'The question has been asked on four or five occasions over the last four or five games, 'Is this the biggest game of your career?', and I keep answering, 'Yes, because it's the next one'.
'But we know what's at stake, we know what's riding on it and I am pretty confident we can go there and give our great fans something to shout about, I really am.'
A draw for Newcastle, coupled with defeat for Hull at home to Manchester United, would see them avoid Championship football next season, and while Shearer is fully expecting more twists and turns, he is convinced they can survive.
'I am totally convinced we will get out of it, yes, and I think more importantly, so are my players," the former England striker said.
'I asked them to forget last weekend's result, whether we thought we played well or whether we thought we played badly or had good decisions, bad decisions.
'That's gone, we can't change that. What we can change is this weekend and I believe if we go there and win, it will be a very very good day for us.'
Injuries continue to hamper Newcastle with Habib Beye, the club's only senior right-back, having been ruled out with a hamstring injury with central defender Sebastien Bassong suspended.
However, left-back Jose Enrique could return from his hamstring problem, while skipper Michael Owen is expected to train tomorrow as he continues his recovery from a groin injury.