Rafa Benitez reveals the one thing Newcastle can’t afford to do in relegation run-in

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United can’t afford any more “mistakes” if the club is to stay up.

Benitez’s side claimed a point from their visit to Anfield at the weekend.

But relegation-threatened Newcastle had to do it the hard way after conceding two sloppy goals.

The 2-2 draw against Liverpool – and Sunderland’s goalless draw against Arsenal on Saturday – have left the club a point adrift of safety ahead of Saturday’s home game against Crystal Palace.

Second-bottom United’s final two games are against relegated Aston Villa and title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur.

Newcastle manager Benitez believes the club must win all three fixtures to have a chance of staying up – and to do that the team can’t afford to gift any more goals to the opposition.

Every game for us now is a final. We know we cannot make mistakes.

Rafa Benitez

“Every game for us now is a final,” said Benitez. “We know we cannot make mistakes.

“We will play at home against Crystal Palace, and hopefully the fans will help. Aston Villa will also be really important.

“Hopefully, we can fight at the end against Tottenham and stay up.”

While Newcastle are reliant on Sunderland and 18th-placed Norwich City dropping points, Benitez feels his team, unbeaten in three games, now believes it can stay up.

Asked about his players had “belief”, the 56-year-old said: “I think so.

“The last three games we saw a lot of character. The reaction of the team after we lost against Southampton has been fantastic.

“Everyone thinks we can do it. It depends on other things too, but we are trying to do our best.”