Bates - Boro can survive
Matthew Bates is in no doubt about the importance of Middlesbrough's meeting with Newcastle.
Last Updated: 06/05/09 3:18pm
Matthew Bates has labelled Middlesbrough's meeting with Newcastle on Monday as one of the biggest games in the club's history.
With three games remaining in their Premier League season, 19th-placed Boro are three points from safety and are fighting to save their top-flight skins.
Gareth Southgate's flailing side travel to fellow strugglers and North-East rivals Newcastle at the start of next week with points a priority for both sides.
But Bates is confident Boro can stun their Tyne-Tees derby rivals at St James' Park and boost their hopes of avoiding a fall into the Championship.
"Newcastle is probably one of the biggest games in the club's history, it's that big I think," the 22-year-old told the Evening Gazette.
"The players know it and the manager knows it and we will go there to try and get the three points.
"The loser of the game might possibly go down. I'm not sure if mathematically it will mean that but it could mean that.
"At the minute everything is going against us and it has become difficult. But we've got to keep ourselves going and keep working hard.
"There are three games to go and we maybe need six or seven points out of them but it's obtainable and that's what we've got to look at.
"It's a dog-eat-dog war and we've got to get the three points as much as they want them.
"It's a case of who wants it more and who can produce more quality on the night."