Rafa Benitez reveals EXACTLY what Newcastle have to do to stay up

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United MUST win their final three games if they are to stay up.

Benitez’s side came from behind to draw 2-2 with Liverpool on Saturday.

You have to forget the table and concentrate on the next game. We have to win the next three games.

Rafa Benitez

And second-bottom United are a point behind Sunderland, who climbed above Norwich City and into 17th place yesterday after a goalless draw against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light.

Newcastle take on Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at St James’s Park on Saturday.

And Benitez feels United need to win that game – and the fixtures against Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur which follow it – if they are to stay in the Premier League.

“We know that we have to try and win,” said United manager Benitez.

“You have to forget the table and concentrate on the next game. We have to win the next three games.”

Newcastle have won one and drawn two of their last three games.

Asked if his team was picking up momentum, he said: “I hope so.

“There are three important games to play, and if we can play like we did in the second half, then fine. I know we have to improve on the ball, but if we have the same spirit, we can keep the momentum.”

Daniel Sturridge gave Liverpool a second-minute lead, and Adam Lallana seemingly put the game beyond United with a second goal later in the half.

But Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback netted after the break to claim an important point.

Benitez said: “Nobody is expecting to concede a goal in the first two minutes.

“After conceding the second goal, the problem we had was very difficult. We had to chase things. We talked about having nothing to lose.

“I think the reaction of the players was fine. I’m really pleased we have the point.

“The first half was a little bit concerning (because of) the mistakes we were making, but the reaction is the main positive thing we can take from this game.”