Rafa Benitez reveals why he can NEVER relax at Newcastle United
Rafa Benitez says he's determined that there's no let up between now and the end of the season – as he cares about results as much as the club's fans.
The club secured its Premier League status last weekend with a 3-1 win over Southampton at St James's Park.
And Newcastle, 13th in the division, take on relegation-threatened Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium looking for a second successive away win following the 1-0 victory over Leicester City earlier this month.
However, United lost four successive games after achieving top-flight safety last season, and Benitez, keen for his team to maintain their momentum, addressed his players this week ahead of the club's final three games.
"That was the conversation I had with the players the other day – 'listen, stay focused, keep working hard, forget about this or that and try to be sure that you’re professionals and do well'," said Newcastle's manager, who is without four players for the Brighton game.
"There are a lot of people who care about what we do, so we have to try and do well."
Asked if he was able to relax now the club was safe, Benitez said: "Like I said before, still I want to win – I'm a professional.
"I want to be sure we do everything in our job properly. You are trying to do everything right. Now it's not the same pressure – it's different. But we have to try to make sure we can get three points in any game."
Chris Hughton's Brighton, meanwhile, are just three points above the relegation zone after a seven-game winless run which has seen three successive defeats at the Amex Stadium.
"Maybe they are doing exactly the same things as before, but because they are not winning they will feel more pressure than before," said Benitez.
"Their set-pieces are very similar, but when you are scoring you have more confidence. Now we're safe, we try to do things well, but the big difference is now you are safe, if you make a mistake it's not 'what does that mean?'.
"Some of the young players ... they will feel more pressure. It's important to approach these games with confidence."