Rafa Benitez reacts to Newcastle's agonising and damaging defeat to Norwich

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic

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Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United's second-half performance in their defeat to Norwich City have given him some hope the club can stay up.

Benitez's second-bottom side were beaten 3-2 at Carrow Road this afternoon.

Martin Olsson scored a winner for Norwich in injury time after Aleksandar Mitrovic had scored the second of his two goals from the penalty spot in the 86th minute.

"You can't change anything," said Benitez, whose side take on Southampton at the St Mary's Stadium on April 9.

"The only thing you can do is take the positives, which was the reaction of the players.

"It was really disappointing. You can't change what has happened. You have to concentrate on the next game."

Newcastle were poor in the first half – they made a series of mistakes before conceding from a 45th-minute free-kick – but they improved after the break.

Mitrovic cancelled out Timm Klose's opener, but Dieumerci Mbokani scored a stunning goal to restore Norwich's lead.

The United striker netted again from the penalty spot, but Olsson claimed all three points for the home side, who are now six points clear of Newcastle in the Premier League.