Alan Shearer has refused even to contemplate the prospect of relegation as he prepares for a final-day showdown with Aston Villa.
Newcastle will run out at Villa Park knowing defeat will send them back into the Football League after 16 years, while even a draw or a victory would not be enough to keep them up should Hull match their result at home to Manchester United.
The implications would be massive for a club which twice finished as Premier League runners-up during the 1990s.
However, Shearer, who will be kept fully informed of developments elsewhere in the dug-out, remains convinced they will retain their top-flight status, and will not countenance the alternative.
He said: "No. I can't, I won't think about that. I will be as positive as possible and my players will be, and we will see what happens."