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Relieved Shearer salutes 'brilliant' Viduka

  • Story Highlights
  • Newcastle manager Alan Shearer singles out Mark Viduka for special praise
  • Viduka starred in 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough at St James' Park
  • Result means Hull City now drop into the bottom three with two games left
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(CNN) -- Newcastle manager Alan Shearer singled out fit-again Mark Viduka for his crucial role in their 3-1 win over Middlesbrough in their make or break Premier League relegation battle on Monday night.

Viduka showed his undoubted class as Newcastle beat Middlesbrough 3-1 at St James' Park.

Martins throws himself at manager Shearer after scoring their crucial second goal.

The Australian international has been plagued by a long-term Achilles injury, but led the Newcastle line for 87 minutes at St James' Park against his old side Boro.

"He was brilliant," Shearer told Press Association.

"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."

While Viduka starred, it was Shearer's late substitution of Obafemi Martins for Michael Owen which did the trick.

With the match tied at 1-1, Nigerian international Martins scored with virtually his first kick of the match while another replacement, Peter Lovenkrands wrapped up the three points with the third.

"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."

It was the first time this campaign Newcastle had scored three goals in a Premier League match and victory takes them out of the drop zone, ahead of Hull City on goal difference.

It gives them renewed belief ahead of Saturday's crucial home match against Fulham and their trip to Aston Villa on the last day of the season.

Shearer took over from Joe Kinnear, who is recovering from heart surgery, on a temporary basis and the win over north-east neighbors Middlesbrough was his first.

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