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Bassong: Newcastle can beat drop without Given

Newcastle United defender Sebastien Bassong says they can handle the departure of Shay Given, now of Manchester City.

"Shay's January departure didn't break our spirit because we knew that our second keeper, Steven Harper, is talented and good enough to replace him," Bassong told setanta.com.

"The entire squad is just happy for Shay because he wanted to move on in order to experience something new, and he has what he wanted.

"All we can do is wish him good luck in his new adventure."

Bassong added: "I was already involved in the relegation fight with Metz, but it's even more stressful with Newcastle. There's a lot of pressure during each game.

"You have to earn points at home and away. I am optimistic and I have to be optimistic because I feel that our team has the quality to avoid the drop.

"But if things didn't go our way, it would mean that it was meant to happen."

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