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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Shearer salutes strikers after vital victory

Newcastle United manager Alan Shearer hailed his strikers following the victory that lifted them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Two goals in the final 20 minutes from substitutes Obafemi Martins and Peter Lovenkrands completed a turnaround against Middlesbrough for a 3-1 victory at St James' Park which moved the Magpies out of the bottom three on goal difference.

And Shearer was full of praise for Martins and Mark Viduka, who helped down his old side.

Shearer said of Viduka: "He was brilliant. Everything we put into him, it stuck. I looked at it even with 10 minutes left and I was thinking to myself, 'He has still got the energy to cause them problems'.

"A fit Mark Viduka and more matches and he can produce a performance like that.

"That's why the medical side and the fitness side have worked very hard to get him fit, because when he plays like that, he is very difficult to handle. I know what he can do.

"Someone said to me when I took over, 'You are better being a lucky manager than a good one'.

"When you put someone on, you are asking them to make an impact, but you don't think it is going to happen after 55 seconds, or something like that.

"They made a difference, both Oba and Peter and contributed as well as the rest of the guys did.''

But while Tyneside was bathed in renewed hope on the final whistle, there was a pall hanging over Teesside with Boro still three points adrift of safety with just two games to play.

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