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Portsmouth boss Hart: Shearer cannot save Newcastle alone

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart says Newcastle United cannot expect to beat the drop simply by appointing Alan Shearer as manager.

Former Nottingham Forest defender Hart - who was also City Ground manager for more than three years from 2001 - admits he has learned a lot from late, great Brian Clough, including his belief that: "No manager, no matter how good he is, has ever actually won a football match.

"What Cloughie meant when he told me that in one of his lighter moments was that the game is really all about players.

"I said when Shearer took the job at Newcastle, and I've said it many times, was that Alan Shearer was a great player and I'm sure he's going to become a great manager if he wants to be.

"But it is just the same at Newcastle as it is here. It is players who make teams play.

"I don't give myself any pats on the back. All I've done is to put down a platform from which the players can perform and they have responded to that. We lost at Manchester United in midweek but we came away with our heads held high because we showed once again how hard we are to beat.

"At both ends of the table it's a tough this time of the season. And there doesn't seem to be any middle ground either. The fight, at whatever end, seems to involve nearly every team in the Premiership.

"It seems to me that Newcastle have got to win the three home games they've got left to give themselves a chance, but again it is the old story from me. We still need points, too, And that has to be our view between now and the end of the season.

"We've got to go up to Newcastle and deliver the same kind of performance that has made us so hard to beat.

"It is a fantastic squad really at Newcastle but year after year you hear people trying to convince other people by saying they are too good to go down.

"Yet the bottom line is that it's only points that will tell you that."

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Tribal Football Staff

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