Rafael Benitez talks up Newcastle United’s survival hopes

St James Park

The Spaniard was happy with his team’s showing on Tuesday night.

Rafael Benitez believes Newcastle United’s players have gained belief to remain in the Premier League, according to a report in the Chronicle Live.

The Magpies closed the gap to 17th-placed Norwich City to just two points on Tuesday evening after drawing 1-1 with Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City at St. James’ Park.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring on 15 minutes with a headed goal which appeared to be offside before Vurnon Anita struck back to level the game on the half-hour mark.

Benitez was appointed manager at the beginning of March and has won just one of his six games in charge of the Toon. However, four points from the previous two matches has seen Newcastle edge closer toward survival.

With Aston Villa already sealing their place in the Championship for next season, there are two remaining positions still yet to be settled. Norwich, Sunderland and Newcastle are separated by two points in the scrap to avoid the drop but just one team is expected to escape.

Following the draw with Manuel Pellegrini’s men, Benitez stated his side have increased confidence and acknowledged the support from the home crowd.

As quoted by Chronicle Live, the ex-Liverpool boss said: “The team has more belief now, the fans are behind the players and they will fight to the end.

“The Man City game was an example of that. I have to be pleased because against a team like Man City, to do what we have done from 1-0 down, the reaction of the team, you have to be pleased.”

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