SEBASTIEN BASSONG has promised Newcastle will not give up hope of escaping relegation after passing up a golden opportunity to ease their plight.
The Magpies went into Monday night’s home clash with Portsmouth believing a win and further victories at home to Middlesbrough and Fulham could secure their top-flight status.
However, 90 frustrating minutes later they trudged off the pitch after a damaging scoreless draw.
Newcastle now face a trip to Liverpool on Sunday, where few would give them any chance of returning with a positive result after their 5-1 drubbing by the Reds on Tyneside in December.
But Bassong for one is refusing to throw in the towel.
He said: “We are disappointed because we needed a win.
“Everyone knows the situation and if we don’t win our home games then it will be really hard to stay up. Now we have drawn, so it will be harder. But we believe, and we will keep playing.
“I can understand that the fans are very worried. The situation is not the best. I can just say to them to stay behind us, because we need them.
“Without them, we will have already lost, so if they stay behind us we will try to give the maximum to stay up. It will be easier with them.”
Shearer’s frustration as his side toiled was there for all to see as his fourth game in charge yielded just a second point.
Newcastle remain three points from safety and need a rousing finish to the season to overhaul either Hull or Sunderland and fend off the advances of West Brom and Middlesbrough below them.
It would be a huge surprise if that process started this weekend, but Shearer was putting on a brave face as he started preparations for the Liverpool game.
The 38-year-old said: “Everybody will write us off for Liverpool, and I understand that, but we will go there prepared and see what happens.
“They are going for the title and they are under pressure too. I saw them at Hull (on Saturday). They didn’t play particularly well, but won the game.
“You never know in football. We will not give up.”
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