Rafael Benitez responds when asked if he will stop his players checking the Norwich vs Sunderland score

Rafa Benitez 3

The Newcastle boss insists it doesn't matter what happens in the early game, but admits his players will be fully aware of the situation when they kick off.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has told reporters that the result between Norwich City and Sunderland will not change anything for his side, but admitted that he will not be able to stop his players finding out the score before their own match, as quoted by the Chronicle.

The Magpies host Swansea City in a crucial home match tomorrow in desperate need of a win to close the gap on the Canaries and their arch-rivals with just six matches left to play.

Benitez's side are six points adrift of safety at the time of writing but the situation could have become even worse by the time they kick off at St. James' Park, with their fellow strugglers meeting one another in the day's early kick-off at Carrow Road.

With at least one of those clubs certain to improve their points tally in that match, it is hard to work out what the best result would be for Newcastle, but it certainly wouldn't be a Norwich win which would leave them nine points from safety at the start of play.

Benitez insisted that his players cannot fixate on the early result as they cannot influence it and it does not change their own desperate need to win, but he admitted he would not be able to stop them finding out the result before their own match even if he wanted to.

When asked by reporters if he would try to stop them, the Chronicle quotes him as responding: "Do you think with the TV they won’t know? For us, [we must] just think about our game.

"We can’t have any influence on that game. We have to wait. But for us it doesn’t change anything, we have to try to win our game in any case. It doesn’t matter what the score is at Norwich.

"When I talk about the last six games I think we can get the points we need to stay up. I think that we need confidence. It’s a crucial day for us because we know we have to start winning games."

Newcastle are yet to win a match since Benitez took over from Steve McClaren a month ago, with their last victory coming against West Bromwich Albion on 6 February.

In the 10 weeks since that match, the Magpies have lost six of their last seven matches, with their only point coming thanks to a late equaliser against arch-rivals Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.

With Manchester City, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur still to play, Benitez's side surely have to get the ball rolling with a win against the Swans tomorrow to stand any real chance of climbing to safety in the last month of the season.

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