Alan Shearer has admitted he does not know how many points will keep Newcastle up after seeing two go begging in a goalless draw against Portsmouth.
High-flying Liverpool now await the Magpies on Sunday but, asked if they now need to return from either Anfield or Aston Villa on the final day of the season with something to show for their efforts, Shearer was non-committal.
He said: "I don't know, I really don't know. I don't know what is going to be enough to stay up."
He added: "I would dearly love to think we could go there and get something - we will be trying to do that - but I really don't know, I can't tell you.
"I don't know what is going to be enough to stay up."
Shearer went for broke by fielding Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins and the ploy might have worked had skipper Owen not fluffed his lines when presented with the game's gilt-edged opportunity.
Played in by Viduka with 63 minutes gone, he could only fire against David James' legs and, with Martins and Viduka also failing to convert the best chances with which they were presented either side of half-time, Newcastle's hopes of a much-needed victory ebbed away.
Shearer said: "It's ironic, really, the three players that I wanted up there all had one very good chance each and you would expect at least one of those to go in.
"We are relying on other people. Results went for us at the weekend, apart from the Blackburn one.
"It's going to be a tense end to the season, we all know that. The way the season has gone tells us that this year."
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