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The Italian defender believes a win against the struggling Royals can kick-start the Magpies' season, with the club languishing just two points above the drop zone

Newcastle full-back Davide Santon has warned his team-mates that they "cannot lose" when the face Reading at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

After finishing fifth last season - and remaining in the chase for Champions League qualification until the last few weeks of the campaign - Alan Pardew’s side have suffered a dramatic downturn in form, as they sit just three points off the relegation zone with a return of 21 points from 22 Premier League games.

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And the 22 year-old, who has featured in all of Newcastle’s league games this season, believes a morale-boosting win over fellow relegation strugglers Reading could kick-start his team’s season.

"[The game against Reading] is so important," Santon told the club’s official website.

"Reading at home? We cannot lose, we cannot draw, we just have to win.

"After we hopefully win that game, that is where our season starts.

"We still have a lot of games left where we can pick up good results. Our minds have to be only on win, win, win, and nothing else."

A loss for Newcastle could see them end the weekend inside the relegation zone, with games against Chelsea and Tottenham on the horizon.

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