Rafael Benitez shares what he told Newcastle United's players after their draw with Aston Villa

Newcastle United

Newcastle United could only manage a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa yesterday.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has informed the Daily Mirror that he told his squad that their survival hopes now rest on Sunderland slipping up.

Newcastle went into yesterday’s matches sitting in 17th place and clear of safety, but they finished the day looking likely to be relegated.

The Magpies failed to beat already relegated Aston Villa, while Sunderland were victorious over Chelsea.

Sunderland can now relegate their North East rivals if they win against Everton at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday.

And Benitez admitted: "Everybody's disappointed but I said to them because now it depends on [Sunderland] we have to prepare for our game and try to win.”

Newcastle’s latest performance against Villa was poor, with the Tynesiders rarely threatening in the fixture.

Aleksandar Mitrovic had a couple of decent opportunities, but Villa held them at bay to stop a run of 11 straight defeats.

Newcastle’s position is now very precarious, with Sunderland looking very likely to stay up.

The Black Cats need to win just one of their last two matches to avoid the drop - with a match against Watford last up for Sam Allardyce’s men. Newcastle's remaining fixture comes against Tottenham Hotspur at St. James' Park. 

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