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Robbo insists Newcastle boss Shearer is on track as relegation dogfight enters final stages

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10 May 2009 18:55:50

Robbo insists Newcastle boss Shearer is on track as relegation dogfight enters final stages

Bryan Robson believes Alan Shearer has adopted the right policy to steer Newcastle  to Premier League safety. Former Middlesbrough manager Robson has experience from both sides of the coin after relegation battles with Boro and West Brom. The boyhood Newcastle fan will be an interested spectator at tomorrow's clash between the two troubled North east clubs. And despite Newcastle failing to win under Shearer so far, Robson says he has adopted the right mentality. Captain Marvel: Former West Brom and Boro boss Bryan Robson believes Alan Shearer has done the right thing since taking the helm of relegation threatened Newcastle 'You need to give yourself a fighting chance to stay up on the last game,' says Robson. 'Too often you get tied up in planning how you can pick points there or here and it either doesn't pan out that way or you dilute your focus on the game in front of you. 'I saw Alan saying last week that he wanted to have that chance on the last day. That's the right preparation. It focuses the players minds. 'If you start thinking 'we can pinch a point here then win there' you will come unstuck. You have to put everything into each match at a time.' Robson pulled off a great escape with West Brom in 2005 before going down the next year and had a season of glorious failure when with Middlesbrough in 1996-97 losing in the League and FA Cup finals before being relegated after being deducted three points for cancelling a game at Blackburn at short notice. 'I still feel that decision was a disgrace to this day,' says Robson. 'The Premier League could have done a lot more to help but those three points cost us our status. It was like a boxer being wide open and taking a great bodyshot to the stomach. The stuffing came right out of us. 'It would be a bigger blow for Boro to go down now though. In 1997 there was a great sense of injustice but we had played some great football, reached two finals and the community was right behind us. There was a solidarity in people wanting us to go straight back up and believing we could do it. 'Now I'm not so sure. The fans need to realise how important they can be at this stage. As a manager you need as much positive support as you can muster. Anything to galvanise spirit or lift the performance. And I think Boro have struggled with that a bit. They can play some great football but are not consistent enough. The former England captain, now working as a global ambassador with Manchester United, added: 'Newcastle would argue they have the better quality and experience but in these games the pressure is huge and mistakes are easy to find. If you can keep your composure you are halfway there. 'The atmosphere will be incredibly tense. I know the area well and both communities will be devastated if their teams go down. Businesses could struggle as a result, jobs will go, families are affected. There's a lot riding on it, there's more at stake than just a game.'


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