Football

Shearer keeps home fires burning

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Newcastle boss Alan Shearer has told his players they need to win their remaining three home games to save their season and stay in the Barclays Premier League.

After losing to Tottenham on Sunday, with Darren Bent scoring the only goal of the game at White Hart Lane, Shearer's men are four points from safety with five matches left. Three of those are at St James' Park, against Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Fulham - and Shearer believes maximum points from those clashes will ensure survival.

He said: "We'll be expected to win those and we have to win those starting with next Monday against Portsmouth. My attention is now on that must-win game."

Shearer was angry with his players for leaving it too late against Spurs before raising their game.

"I've just said to them, very pleased with the second half but give me an explanation why there's no urgency like that from minute one," he said.

"We have our own ideas, our own theory as to why but we have to start games in the first minute like we finish them in the last 30 minutes."

Another concern for Shearer is Steven Taylor, who was taken off at half-time with an ankle injury.

That changed Newcastle's shape, as did Shearer's substitutions when he brought on Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka.

Martins provided an attacking spark and went close with two gilt-edged chances, while also having an effort chalked off for handball and a penalty shout turned down by referee Mark Halsey following a challenge by Jonathan Woodgate.

"I felt at the time it was a penalty," Shearer said. "That's three decisions we haven't got in three games."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Jonathan Woodgate
Portsmouth
Fulham
Football
Steven Taylor
Premier League
Alan Shearer
Obafemi Martins
Mark Viduka
Middlesbrough
Darren Bent

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