Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has full belief in his team

Mar 13, 2018, 04:15
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has full belief in his team

Pellegrino's side won only one of their past 17 league games, falling to 17th in the table, and with nine matches remaining the club's hierarchy have decided the Argentine is not the right man to arrest the slump.

They started the day 16th and only a point and a place above Southampton in a crowded fight against the drop but needed only 63 seconds to take the lead at St James' Park with Kenedy's first goal since joining on loan from Chelsea.

On Kenedy's attitude, Newcastle boss said: "He has been fine". "We have an advantage because, although Spanish and Portuguese are not the same, they have very similar words so this helps me speak to him". He has slotted in very well and, to be fair, the atmosphere between players is very good.

"He's a young player".

"HHis confidence is good, and he has the possibility to express himself here".

Saints chief Reed sees his brand of attacking football, ability to improve players - like Rodgers dramatically has at Celtic since May 2016 - and tactical nous as being perfectly suited for the St Mary's Stadium.

"There are some players he can talk with a little bit more".

They are only a point above third-bottom Crystal Palace with eight games to play, their next game an FA Cup quarter-final with League One Wigan Athletic before a crucial trip to 16th-placed West Ham.

They finished eighth for the fourth successive season in the previous campaign and also reached the League Cup final which they narrowly lost to Manchester United at Wembley in February 2017.

Asked if the Southampton game had been a "must-win" fixture, Benitez said: "I don't know if I said that, but it was an important game to win".

"We've put the Liverpool game behind us and we're looking forward to the next two", the 24-year-old said.

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