Paul Dummett reveals Rafa Benitez advice and Newcastle's aim for rest of the season

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett says Rafa Benitez's calm management helped the club recover from a horrendous start to the season.

The Magpies secured Premier League survival on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Southampton at St James's Park.

It's a far cry from the start of the season when United failed to register a win in their first 10 games.

Dummett, however, says there was no panic at the club, thanks to the presence of Benitez.

He said: "All the players deserve praise, and so do the fans for sticking with us in the tough times, and the manager for what he's done.

"The manager brings that experience with him from where he's been in his career and whether you win or get beat, he's always the same really; he doesn't get too excited when you've won a game and when you get beat, he doesn't get too down.

"He always tells us that we need to forget about the game; obviously look at a few things we've done and try to improve on those things, and don't let those mistakes happen again, but he knows we've got another game in a few days to put things right.

"He's stayed calm throughout the season, even those times we were struggling a bit. He's always stated to us if we play with anxiety it'll be harder to win games so we've tried to listen to his advice and put it into practise, and it's paid off."

The Magpies now have 41 points with three games to go, and Dummett says they are targeting finishing with more than the 44 points they garnered last term.

"Whether you're going to be here next season or not, it doesn't really matter - every player has their personal pride," he added to nufc.co.uk.

"As a team, we have the three games; we could win all three, we could lose all three, but we'll be trying our best to get as many points as we can to finish in a strong position, and hopefully we can beat last season's tally with the points we can get."