Rafa Benitez feels his Newcastle United side is getting “comfortable” in the Premier League – at just the right time.
The club is 13th in the division – and four points above the relegation zone – ahead of Saturday’s home game against Huddersfield Town.
And Benitez and his players know that a third successive home win would leave United just a handful of points from Premier League safety.
Only league leaders Manchester City and third-placed Liverpool have beaten Newcastle since Christmas.
And United manager Benitez is pleased with the way his way his team is coping with what was always going to be a challenging first season back in the top flight.
“It’s always positive when you see your team reacting after a difficult spell,” said Benitez. “I was not happy when we were not winning during that winless period, but the Premier League now is so difficult.
When you become more comfortable, that is when you can do well and win these games.Rafa Benitez
“If you play a couple of teams from the top six, then you lose another game, you have a bad run and you start losing confidence, so it’s always more difficult.
“But the reaction of the team has been really good. Always I say to them ‘at the end of the season, you just have to carry on’.
“When you become more comfortable, that’s when you can do well and win these games.
“We’re happy with the intensity of the training sessions at the moment and the way the team’s competing in every game.”
Newcastle have beaten Southampton and Manchester United on their last two home outings.