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Shearer refuses to contemplate relegation

Newcastle United face Aston Villa tomorrow afternoon at Villa Park knowing that defeat will see them relegated to the Championship for the first time in 16 years while a draw or a victory will only be enough if Hull lose to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

However, Magpies manager Alan Shearer is refusing to think about the drop ahead of the club's most important game in the last 5 years. "I can't, I won't think about that. I will be as positive as possible and my players will be, and we will see what happens."

Despite having played in some big games for Newcastle during his 10 years at St James' Park, Shearer admitted that tomorrow's game is crucial to the club's future. "It's a massive game. We all know the stakes, we all know what we are playing for, but I still believe, I really do."

Newcastle's hopes of survival have been hit by the suspension of Sebastien Bassong and Joey Barton with the club's only specialist right-back Habib Beye also set to miss the game through injury.

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