Rafa Benitez sets survival target for Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez expects the battle for survival to go to the wire.

By Miles Starforth
Monday, 11 February, 2019, 06:37
Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle United, 17th in the Premier League, are only being kept out of the relegation zone by goal difference ahead of tonight’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

The club has 24 points, and Benitez believes his team will need between 36 and 38 points for Premier League survival.

“It’s very tight,” said United’s manager. “I don’t think it will be easy to see any team, hopefully us, going quickly higher and staying safe. I think it will go until the end.

“You see Burnley, they are doing well, and Huddersfield will play without any pressure. They are not a bad team. Any game is difficult.

“When you are expected to win a game you are under more pressure and anixety, and then you make one mistake. Hopefully we can get a result against Wolves, Huddersfield and Burnley.

“Maybe Fulham, the last game, will be the most important game. Hopefully not, but you never know. For me, 36-38 points (will secure safety).”

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Wolves, promoted from the Championship last season, are seventh with 38 points.

Nuno Espirito Santo, unlike Benitez, has been backed heavily in the transfer market by the club’s owner.

Asked if he was envious of the backing Nuno has had, Benitez said: “I think that they are doing well. They have spent money. They have some good players.

“They have these things and are doing well. It’s positive for them.

“I think we have to concentrate on where we are now.

“We’re in a position where we have to improve as much as we can, and that’s it.”