Alan Shearer spells out the urgency of Newcastle United's relegation plight as Steve Bruce battles to save his job
Alan Shearer believes Newcastle United's fate could be all but decided by the end of next month.
Steve Bruce’s side remain 17th in the Premier League table following last night’s 3-1 defeat to second-placed Manchester United.
Third-bottom Fulham have cut the gap from 10 points to three over the past fortnight – and Scott Parker and his players are confident they can climb above United.
Newcastle, without leading scorer Callum Wilson, played well for almost an hour at Old Trafford, where Allan Saint-Maximin was on target, before being undone by defensive mistakes.
And Shearer, speaking on Match of the Day, believes the club’s next four games, which are against Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion, will go a long way in deciding where the club finishes this season.
Reflecting on the game at Old Trafford, former Newcastle striker Shearer said: "I think they were the better side in the first half. They pressed well, they showed a good attitude in getting the goal back. They certainly deserved that.
"Then again for 10-15 minutes of the second half, but then they looked so tired after that, and Man United were the better team and deserved to win it.
"They're missing their best player and their goal threat in Callum Wilson. Not only does he stretch teams, he is the one who poses a threat in and around the six-yard box.
"But the next four or five games are Newcastle's season, particularly with the form that Fulham are in."