Shearer cautious despite victory

12 May 2009 07:46
Newcastle boss Alan Shearer warned his side that despite a first win under his management the fight to remain in the Premier League is far from over.The Magpies beat relegation rivals Middlesbrough 3-1 to move out of the bottom three on goal difference. "The club needed it, the players needed it, we all needed it," said Shearer. "But there is still a long way to go. I don't want to sound negative but it's one win. We have got to get another two and make sure we are safe." Newcastle are level on points with Hull but their goal difference is -17 to the Tigers' -24. The Magpies are three points ahead of Middlesbrough and West Brom and trail local rivals Sunderland by two points, with two games left to play. Shearer's men play host to Fulham on Saturday and travel to fifth-placed Aston Villa on the final day. "We've won one and got two to go," added the interim manager. "We need at least another win but we've now got the belief and confidence back. "We asked them to go out and get three points and they've done that. They were magnificent under difficult circumstances. "They have now got to go and do that again on Saturday, enjoy that winning feeling and hopefully there's another one there on Saturday. "But it will be just as tough because Fulham are flying themselves." With the word around Newcastle strongly suggesting Shearer will be in charge next season, providing he gets reasonable backing from owner Mike Ashley, then there may be more where this came from BBC Sport's Phil McNulty Middlesbrough led early on courtesy of Habib Beye's own goal, with the ball ricocheting off the defender after keeper Steve Harper had blocked a shot from Tuncay. But Newcastle hit back almost immediately when defender Steven Taylor firmly headed in from Danny Guthrie's corner. And in the second half, Newcastle gained the advantage, thanks to Obafemi Martins' low shot, before fellow substitute Peter Lovenkrands made sure of the win when he converted Kevin Nolan's low cross from close range. "There were some big, big ­performances from big men, they were ­brilliant," stated Shearer, who had picked up only two points from five games in charge prior to the visit of Middlesbrough. "I told my players to enjoy that winning feeling and enjoy being out of the bottom three because it has been a long time coming. "Hopefully we stay out of there - it's in our own hands now." Shearer introduced Lovenkrands in place of Jonas Gutierrez on 65 minutes and Martins for captain Michael Owen five minutes later. Team heartbroken - Southgate Martins made an immediate impact before Lokenkrands secured the three points and only Newcastle's third victory in 19 outings. "Someone once told me it's better to be a lucky manager than a good one," revealed Shearer. "I'd be a liar if I said I knew what an impact Oba would have. He's a threat but I didn't expect him to score after 55 seconds. "We were brilliant and I couldn't have asked any more of the team. To go 1-0 down and come back showed character. It's a magnificent feeling. It's a long time since we had a win." Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate conceded it was a painful evening for the Teesside club. "There's a lot of frustration and anguish in our dressing room, it's been a painful evening," admitted Southgate, whose team remain on 31 points, three behind Newcastle but with an inferior goal difference. Harper not getting carried away "We looked dangerous when we attacked in that opening half-an-hour. Newcastle looked nervous at the back. We scored early and needed to keep that lead for longer. "They are our local rivals and it's difficult to listen to them celebrating but even though we lost I'm very proud of the players. They are young players who played like men tonight. "We've got two games left and we've got to try to win those. We've got to hang in there." Middlesbrough entertain Aston Villa on Saturday before taking on West Ham at Upton Park on the last day of the season.

Source: BBC_Sport