Shearer: Survival is possible

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Alan Shearer remains confident Newcastle can avoid relegation despite seeing Chelsea ruin his hopes of a winning start to his reign.

Second-half goals from Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda eased the Champions League quarter-finalists to within a point of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United and left the Magpies three points adrift of safety.

"I am optimistic still, I am still confident that we can avoid the drop and my players are too, which is more important," he said. "One game in football is a hell of a long time - we have got seven."

He added: "I am sure there are going to be twists and turns between now and the end of the season.

"Results-wise, other teams - that's gone against us as well, but we know we are in a fight and we will give it a fight."

Optimism on Tyneside remained high until the 56th-minute when Newcastle's luck ran out.

Up until that point, they had kept themselves in the game with some determined defending, but they were finally breached when Fabricio Coloccini's 56th-minute clearance was blocked and Lampard fed the ball through to Nicolas Anelka. The Frenchman's chipped shot came back off the woodwork and fell invitingly for Lampard, who calmly headed it into the empty net.

It was 2-0 within nine minutes when Lampard slid Malouda in and he shot expertly past keeper Steve Harper.

Newcastle thought they were back in the game with 17 minutes remaining when Michael Owen's deflected cutback appeared to have crossed the line before Ashley Cole hacked it clear.

"I thought it was in from where I was standing - I would say that, wouldn't I? I'm a manager now," said Shearer. "I have seen it on TV and it looks in. It's a mistake from the linesman."

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European News
Ashley Cole
Nicolas Anelka
Florent Malouda
Steve Harper
Michael Owen
Premier League
Fabricio Coloccini
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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