Date: 9th December 2008 at 8:01pm
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Despite Steven Taylor`s insistence that we shouldn`t use the dreaded ‘R` word, his own team mate and Newcastle legend Shay Given has given a far more balanced view as he assessed our current predicament as troubling. Shay said:

“You have to take this very seriously. There is no getting away from it were in a relegation battle. And that is going to be the case for a good part of the rest of the season, unless we go on a strong, strong run.

Its so, so serious no club is too big to go down. That means we have to work hard, knuckle down and get away from the relegation zone. Its very different to what we imagined, and its not an ideal situation. But this is where we are and we cant change what has happened.

We must get the club moving forward again. It will become more intense if we are still in this position after Christmas. If you are still down there after the festive period, you will be down there for much of the season. So we want to get away from it before hand. We have Portsmouth on Sunday and that is a chance to get three points and get Stoke out of our systems.

I was just as fed up as the Toon Army. Were really disappointed with it. Looking back at Stoke, we were cruising and it could well have been 3-0 or 4-0 to us. There was only one team in it, but for some reason we just didnt come out in the second half . They got an early goal which gave them a lift and put us on the back foot.

I still thought we could hold on, but they scored right at the death, which was a kick in the teeth.
It felt like a defeat and I am sure it was the same for the fans. Just when you think it cant get any worse, that happens two guys who are ex-players get the goals.”