Rafa Benitez: My Newcastle players are starting to believe

first_img Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez Rafa Benitez believes his Newcastle players are starting to show self confidence after they got back into the fight for Premier League survival with a helping hand from arch-rivals Sunderland.The Magpies’ 3-0 home victory over Swansea on Saturday, coupled with the Black Cats’ success at Norwich by the same score earlier in the day, means they are within three points of the 17th-placed Canaries with a game in hand ahead of Manchester City’s visit to St James’ Park on Tuesday evening.Sunderland remain in the better position to secure survival, with only one North East club likley to overtake Norwich, but Benitez is pleased that his players are starting to beleive top flight survival is possible.When asked whether the mood in the Magpies’ dressing room has improved, Benitez replied: “Obviously [it’s] much better. Everybody was happy and I think they are now thinking that we can do it and they believe.“They have this feeling, like all the fans watching the team working as hard as today, everybody thinks we can do it. That’s the main thing. As I have said a lot of times, we will fight until the end, but now we are closer and it will be easier for me to give this speech.”Swansea wasted a number of chances in front of goal to deal another defeat to the Tyneside club, but Benitez is not too bothered seeing as the three points came on the celebrations for his 56th birthday.He said: “When you are expecting something from your players and they give you this, three goals and three points and the way that we won, you have to say congratulations to them and congratulations to our fans because they deserved this game.“The players worked so hard and they showed the passion, the character, the commitment we were looking for and the fans appreciate that, so I am really pleased for all of them, and it’s a good present for me.“Now with some players, some friends, my staff, hopefully we can enjoy today – and then tomorrow, we have to start working because we have Manchester City.” 1last_img

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