Rafa Benitez has revealed the biggest danger to Newcastle United’s promotion hopes – themselves.
Benitez’s side takes on in-form Norwich City at St James’s Park in the Championship tonight.
Maybe the biggest rivals are ourselves. So we have to be sure that we do what we can do. We have to perform at the level we know we can perform.Rafa Benitez
The visitors, also relegated from the Premier League last season, have won their last four league games.
But United manager Benitez feels his team do not need to preoccupied with the form of others.
Instead, Benitez believes Newcastle must worry about themselves – and fulfilling their “potential”.
Asked if Norwich were the club’s biggest rivals for promotion, Benitez said: “Maybe the biggest rivals are ourselves.
“So we have to be sure that we do what we can do.
“We have to perform at the level we know we can perform. We can beat anyone, or we can lose to anyone, because it is a difficult league.
“But if we do what we have to do we will get stronger and stronger and at the end of the season we will be at the top.
“Obviously, you respect your rivals.
“But the main thing is we have the potential.
“Play to maximum, sometimes you draw or lose, but at the end you’ll be at the top of the table.”
Fifth-placed Newcastle have lost three of their five league games so far this season.
“We’ve played against difficult teams. We’ve lost three games, but every game in this league is very difficult,” said Benitez.
“I’m not happy (with the start), it could be better. I was doing some analysis, and we can improve our game a bit better. But every game is difficult.”