Shearer predicts tough Toon task at Stevenage

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Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has predicted a tough challenge for the Magpies in the FA Cup.

Alan Pardew's men travel south to Stevenage for the late kick-off in the third round, and the clash at Broadhall Way brings back some memories for the former Newcastle No.9.

Shearer was part of the Toon side that faced off against a then Conference team back in 1998, and Stevenage provided a tough test in the fourth round back then.

"It was my first game back from a serious injury, and I managed to score after around two minutes. We had to take them back to St James' Park for a replay though, they made it tough," Shearer told Givemefootball.

Giuliano Grazioli equalised for the then Conference side in that fairly controversial tie, and the former Newcastle United boss believes the current crop should be ready for a challenge today.

"It will be tough, no doubt. Broadhall Way is going to be a difficult place to play, whatever side the manager puts out," Shearer continued.

Pardew is likely to make changes to his Newcastle side in an effort to keep players fresh for the Barclays Premier League, with the club currently sitting eigth and on the cusp of a European place.

However, Shearer believes the FA Cup provides the Magpies with a realistic chance of silverware and is confident the competition won't be taken lightly.

"The team can absolutely win it. The competition is a great tradition for Newcastle United, and I'm sure they'll be setting out for success."

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