Alan Shearer has told Newcastle United they must capitalise on their “lucky” win over Bournemouth – by making their own luck against Leicester City.
The club climbed out of the Premier League’s relegation zone before the international break thanks to a 1-0 win on the south coast.
But Steve McClaren’s side remain in a precarious position.
And Shearer, Newcastle’s all-time record goalscorer, says that result will count for little if the club fails to beat Claudio Ranieri’s free-scoring side tomorrow.
“That lucky win at Bournemouth will count for nothing if they don’t get three points against Leicester,” said Shearer, who last night opened South Shields FC’s new function rooms at Mariners Park.
“They’re a decent team, particularly going forward, where they’re a big threat.
“It doesn’t faze them going behind, so Newcastle will have to watch that.
“But I would still expect Newcastle to take something from the game, despite Leicester’s record.”
Head coach McClaren feels his new-look team is slowly moving forward, but Shearer said: “There hasn’t been much progress of late.
“They got a decent result, not performance, at Bournemouth.
“I hope they can take a little bit of confidence from that, go on a decent run and get away from the relegation zone.”
Leicester will make a late decision on the availability of striker Jamie Vardy, who has scored in his last nine league games.
If Vardy can net against United, he will equal a 12-year-old record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy.
While Shearer – who talked of the importance of the Northern League at Mariners Park – would love to see former non-league player Vardy make history at St James’s Park, he does not want Leicester to take any points home.
“Three or four years ago, Jamie Vardy was playing non-league football,” said Shearer, now a Match of the Day pundit.
“Now he’s playing for England. If you look hard enough, there are players out there. The ideal scenario would be for Jamie to score and Newcastle to win.”
Meanwhile, Shearer, a friend of South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson, is impressed with the new facilities at Mariners Park as well as the form of the well-backed team, which leads the Northern League’s Second Division.
“It’s incredible,” said the former England captain. “It’s a great investment from the new chairman.
“They’re on a great run as a football club, and I hope it continues.
“There’s great passion for football around this area. There was 1,400 here at the weekend, so I hope that continues.”