English Premiership

Benitez: Newcastle need five wins

Rafael Benitez (TEAMtalk)
Rafael Benitez (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez admits that his side may have to win five of their remaining six matches if they are to avoid relegation this season.

The Magpies lost 3-1 to Southampton at St. Mary's on Saturday, their sixth defeat in their last seven league matches, but the Spaniard still has hope of a great escape.

"I still have the belief that we can win games and if we start winning it can be different," Benitez told Sky Sports.

"We don't need to be the best team in the league but we have to be the best team of the bottom four.

"We aren't doing that at the moment so I feel we have to start winning the games, and change a lot of things - the commitment, the passion, the character, the way that we play.

"If other teams lose some games maybe it will be enough with four wins. If they continue to win games then maybe we'll need five wins. And if you lose it doesn't matter. So I feel we have to approach every game like a must-win game.

"Some of the players know we can do it, but some of them are worried about these mistakes that we're making in games.

"The only way is to try to repeat situations during training, so they will have more confidence and they can replicate these situations during games."

The former Liverpool boss has a relegation release clause in his contract, and is expected to leave the club should the Magpies go down to the Championship. Newcastle host an in-form Swansea next weekend.

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