Shearer calls for team effort

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Alan Shearer has warned his Newcastle players they cannot rely on their big names alone to get the club out of trouble.

The Magpies head for Liverpool on Sunday three points adrift of Barclays Premier League safety with only four games in which to save themselves and Shearer insists every single member of the squad will have to contribute.

He said: "They all hold a vital role. The experienced ones, some of them will have been in this position, some of them won't. But I am looking to everyone, not just the experienced players. Everyone has got a huge part to play, a massive role."

He added: "But the spirits have been reasonable this week considering we haven't won a game under myself, and hopefully that will change rather soon."

If it is to change this weekend, Shearer's players will have to perform considerably better than they did in the reverse fixture at St James' on December 28.

That day, the rampant Reds, led by irresistible England midfielder Steven Gerrard, tore Newcastle to shreds as they romped to a 5-1 victory, which might have been even more embarrassing had it not been for the brilliance of keeper Shay Given.

The Irishman decided enough was enough in the immediate aftermath of the debacle, signing for Manchester City in January, and his close friend Shearer admitted it did not look good from the Match of the Day sofa.

He said: "It wasn't pleasant watching, to be honest, it was a bitterly disappointing game.

"Whether it was a turning point or not, I am not quite sure, but we certainly want to avoid anything like that again."

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Manchester City
Premier League
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer
Shay Given
Steven Gerrard

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