Shearer ready for final day showdown

Last updated : 22 March 2004 By Martyn Elliott

The weekend’s results left us level on points and goal difference with the Reds, with both teams facing an equally difficult run-in.

Shearer of course would like fourth place clinched before May 15, but admits that is unlikely to happen.

“I'll be happy going there with a four-point lead,” said the skipper, who produced probably his best display of the season against Charlton.

"Beating Charlton is our most important win of the season to date. It was more important when Liverpool won at home to Wolves earlier in the day with a goal in the last minute.

"It was hugely important that we came up with a very good performance, particularly in the first half. That's the best the fans have seen here from us for a while.

"I said in the dressing room, with about 20 minutes to go in the Liverpool game, don't put it past them to score a late goal - and they did.

"We were well aware of the Liverpool result beforehand because we watched all the results coming in.

"Everybody has been saying it's going to be a two-horse race for fourth place and I think it will be and it will go right down to the last game of the season.

"To be fair, Charlton were very good. You can see why they are up there because they work hard and know their jobs.”