Alan Shearer has admitted he does not know how many points will keep Newcastle up after seeing two go begging in a goalless draw against Portsmouth.
High-flying Liverpool now await the Magpies on Sunday but, asked if they now need to return from either Anfield or Aston Villa on the final day of the season with something to show for their efforts, Shearer was non-committal.
He said: "I don't know, I really don't know. I don't know what is going to be enough to stay up.
"I would dearly love to think we could go there and get something - we will be trying to do that - but I really don't know, I can't tell you.
"I don't know what is going to be enough to stay up."
Shearer went for broke by fielding all three of his big-name strikers and the ploy might have worked had skipper Owen not fluffed his lines when presented with the game's gilt-edged opportunity.
Shearer said: "It's ironic, really, the three players that I wanted up there all had one very good chance each and you would expect at least one of those to go in.
"We are relying on other people. Results went for us at the weekend, apart from the Blackburn one.
"It's going to be a tense end to the season, we all know that. The way the season has gone tells us that this year.
"We have got to make sure we are still in there fighting come the second last, come the last game of the season.
"We have got to make sure we are in there fighting."