Rafa Benitez has a message for Newcastle's fans ahead of Arsenal's visit to St James's Park

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United fans should NOT relax – as he needs them to push his team over the line.

Benitez's side moved up to 10th place in the Premier League after last weekend's 2-1 win over Leicester City.

Newcastle take on Arsenal at St James's Park on Sunday needing just two points to reach Benitez's 40-point target.

“I have to be honest, 10th would have exceeded expectation at the start of the season," said United manager Benitez.

"With a lot of teams in the Premier League spending money, it would not be easy. The main thing was to stay up.

"Little by little, we thought maybe we could do it, but then we had a bad run, then we had better mentality and starting to do well in January and got more confidence and now we can dream.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

"Now we have to be sure we stay there, and if we can go higher."

United might be all but safe, but Benitez doesn't think that anyone at the club should relax just yet,

“I don’t want the fans to relax," said Benitez. "I want them to keep pushing and cheering the team. Hopefully, they will keep enjoying it.

"The relationship between fans and players has been key this year.

"Normally, the team has been going away and the fans can make a difference, but if you have 52,000 at home enjoying the games, and behind the team, then the team can play better."