Pompey won't fear Shearer factor

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Portsmouth players have been urged to keep fighting for their Premier League lives and not fear the "Alan Shearer factor" at troubled Newcastle tonight.

Pompey boss Paul Hart said: "Alan was a great player and he's a great man. And I'm sure he will be a great manager if he wants to be.

"But as Cloughie (Brian Clough) once told me at Nottingham Forest, no manager, however good, has actually ever won a football match. It is players who do that, players who make a team play. It is all about players."

Hart, 55, who played under Clough at Forest for three years from March 1983 and later went on to manage the club himself, said: "I don't give myself any pats on the back for what we've achieved at Portsmouth over the last few months.

"It is down to the players and the way they have responded to what myself and (coach) Brian Kidd have put in place - a basic pattern of play to stop us shipping goals like we had been.

"Newcastle have a fantastic squad. We'll be playing against the likes of Michael Owen, (Obafemi) Martins and maybe Mark Viduka if he still back fit. That's enough to ensure we try to keep our feet on the pedals.

"It seems Alan Shearer was brought back to give them more incentive but they don't need any extra incentive than to stay in the Premier League.

"It is the same with us here. What we've done is make ourselves very hard to beat and we must take that attitude to Newcastle. I've heard people saying certain teams are too good to go down but in the end it is only points which will tell you that."

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Michael Owen
Premier League
Alan Shearer
Nottingham Forest
Mark Viduka

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