ALAN SHEARER insists Newcastle United could not have wished for a better draw after avoiding Arsenal and Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals, writes Paul Fraser.

The Magpies have been paired with either Tottenham or Nottingham Forest in the sixth round and will be played in front of the Tyneside faithful at St James' Park.

Newcastle's home draw is in stark contrast to Arsenal and Manchester United who have to travel to Bolton and either Brentford or Southampton respectively.

And Shearer said: "All you ever want is a home draw in the FA Cup and we've got one.

"We're delighted. I don't believe in omens, but I'm told that when we've played Spurs or Forest in the past we've got through to the final.

"What makes it even better is that while we're at home Manchester United face a difficult away task and Arsenal, who don't have a good record at Bolton, have to go away."

Newcastle coach Terry McDermott also revealed his delight at the tie, which is scheduled for the weekend of March 12.

But he warned: "Spurs are playing some good football so it's got the makings of a great cup tie but it could easily be Forest as they had a good chance to win it late at White Hart Lane.

"We've got a great chance of making the semi-finals and it keeps our season bubbling along nicely.

"Chelsea was a massive scalp and we're on a bit of a roll."

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