Rafael Benitez urges Newcastle to avoid complacency ahead of Villa trip

Rafa Benitez

Newcastle have given themselves a huge lifeline in recent weeks.

Speaking to the club's official website, Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has warned his players not to get complacent as they continue to dig their way out of trouble as far as the Premier League relegation fight goes.

The Magpies edged out Crystal Palace 1-0 on Saturday, courtesy of Andros Townsend's stunning free kick, to move one point and one place clear of the relegation zone with just two games to play.

That being said, their fate still remains out of their hands as Sunderland and Norwich City, in 18th and 19th place respectively, both boast a game in hand over Benitez's side.

Still, United have a decent shot at staying in the top flight and they take on already-relegated Aston Villa - on an 11-match losing streak - at Villa Park this Saturday, with another victory looking very probable.

Despite being the whipping boys, Benitez urges his troops to avoid complacency.

"We have to have the belief, but still to avoid complacency," he told nufcTV. "We have to be sure that we do all we have to do, train properly, prepare for the game against Aston Villa the right way and try to win.

"You can't change what they (Sunderland and Norwich) do so you have to try to do your best and that's it.

"If they cannot win, it's better; if they lose, even better. But you can't have any influence. The only thing that you can do is to concentrate and be sure that your team is doing well."


Newcastle's final game comes at home, for the visit of a Tottenham Hotspur side who will be without at least one of their key players - the suspended Dele Alli - but Mousa Dembele might well be unavailable, too.

The Belgian midfielder appeared to eye gouge Chelsea's Diego Costa in Monday's 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, and it remains to be seen if the 28-year-old will face retrospective action.

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