Rafa Benitez is set to keep faith with Georginio Wijnaldum in the belief he can rediscover his form in time to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Wijnaldum hit the ground running at the club after his move last summer.
When you see him in training, you can see he has so much quality that he can be the difference and we will support him to do that.Rafa Benitez
But the nine-goal player hasn’t scored since January and he has struggled for form in recent months, especially away from home.
United manager Rafa Benitez, however, is not minded to drop Wijnaldum, who captained PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title last season.
And he has been heartened by the 25-year-old’s efforts on the training field ahead of this afternoon’s game against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium..
Asked about Wijnaldum’s form, Benitez said: “When you have players with international experience, players that can make the difference, you want to see them winning the games.
“When you see him in training, you can see he has so much quality that he can be the difference and we will support him to do that.
“What I want to see from every player is effort.
“They have to try and they have to give everything and if they are doing that they are good enough.
“If they do that, and they have a little bit of luck, then you will see the quality they have.
“There is that question of giving them confidence, but we are asking them to give everything on the pitch.”
Benitez recalled a clutch of senior players to his starting XI for last weekend’s game against Norwich City, which Newcastle lost 3-2.
Papiss Cisse, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita all started at Carrow Road.
The quartet have all come in for criticism from fans in recent seasons, but Benitez feels they have a lot to offer his second-bottom team in the final seven games.
Benitez said: “The senior players they can help with experience. We have some players with quality too.
“We will give them some ideas and put everything together and you can see a team that is capable of winning.
“I have seen this team twice come back from losing (against Newcastle and Norwich), and for me this is really positive.
“You can see they are still really fighting.
“So for me that is the positive thing for the fans. If someone doesn’t try ... but we are trying.”