Newcastle, long since past the crossroads, has its back against the wall it the ultimate of last gasp opportunities. A point behind Hull City, Newcastle travels to face Aston Villa with no room for error in the final match of the campaign as they try to avoid relegation.
Defeat will end any chance of Alan Shearer's side being cast into the Championship, possibly the first great victim of the economic woes that have befallen many. Despite the brave front, since the fall of 2008 Newcastle has been unable to effectively maneuver in the transfer market and quickly spiraled downward.
While the great hero Allan Shearer rode in to save the day, Newcastle needs one more miracle from the number 9. Newcastle is far from a full side as Sébastien Bassong and Habib Beye are not available. Oba Martins, who awaits a date with the scalpel after the campaign, is likely to gut it once more.
However this is not the time or the place to discuss tactics or player availability. Newcastle is fighting for its life and now must rise up for a performance beyond their recent play with fire, venom and the spirit to defend the crest.