Rafa Benitez was once again upbeat during his press conference this afternoon for the Saints game tomorrow and the 55 year-old continues to believe Newcastle will still be a Premier League side by the end of the season.
And he has said a defeat at Southampton tomorrow doesn’t mean we will be relegated and it could be that Rafa is looking at the four home games remaining plus a trip to Aston Villa as being the five games Newcastle can still win and therefore surprisingly survive as a Premier league club.
But the odds of Newcastle doing that – we have won only six games all season up to this point – are still 1/8 odds-on with the bookies.
Rafa Benitez – still very upbeat
But it’s still difficult not to feel a little more upbeat from some of Rafa’s comments today.
Here’s some of what the former Liverpool manager said earlier this afternoon:
“There are a lot of things we have to learn.” “The only way to do this is to practice every day. The effort from the team is there, they just have to improve mentally and learn to approach this game with confidence.”
“We have to stop the mental block that the players have. We do that by winning against Southampton.”
“When the stats go against you the best way to address this is to give everything you can on the pitch and sometime your fortunes can change.”
“It’s football, anything can happen and hopefully this game will be the first win.”
“Physically the team are fine. Mentally when they train you can see that they are trying as well. But when you go into a game and you know how important it is for everyone, you have something against you.”
“And this can be the most difficult thing to overcome when you are at the bottom end of the table.”
“If we cannot win we have to keep fighting right until the end. That is our message to the fans – we will not give up.”
“There are still 21 points to play for, but first we have to concentrate on this game against Southampton and make sure we get three points.”
It’s true that if Newcastle can somehow get a shock win at Southampton tomorrow things will be buzzing next Saturday, when we entertain Swansea City followed by Manchester City four days later.
But a win will be very very difficult to achieve tomorrow – but not impossible.