Manager Alan Shearer has acknowledged that Monday’s encounter with Portsmouth is one of the biggest games of his Newcastle career.
Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League – four points from safety but with a game in hand on most rivals.
“It’s my biggest game for a long, long time. We all know the stakes, so we need three points. It sounds easy but it won’t be,” said the former striker.
“We all know the importance of it. Now we just need to go out and do it.”
Shearer’s fourth game as manager is against a Portsmouth side who sit five places and seven points above them in 14th place and the 38-year-old has targeted the match as the first of three victories he believes the Magpies need to secure their safety.
“I think nine points could just be enough, looking at other teams’ fixtures,” he stated.
“I might be wrong but I’m asking the players to win their three home games, starting with Monday against Portsmouth.”
After Portsmouth, Newcastle play Middlesbrough on 11 May and Fulham on 16 May at St James’ Park and face away games at Liverpool on 3 May and Aston Villa on the final day of the season on 24 May.
Shearer replaced previous caretaker-manager Chris Hughton, who was filling in for Joe Kinnear as he recovers from triple-heart bypass surgery he underwent in February.