Newcastle United head coach Rafael Benitez believes there were enough positives in Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Leicester to suggest his side can avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The Spaniard and his troops remain in the drop zone, one point from safety after losing his first game in charge at St James’ Park.
United have nine games remaining, the next of which is at home to relegation-threatened rivals Sunderland.
The former Real Madrid boss who was recently dismissed by the Galacticos hierarchy said: “With this commitment on the pitch we can do it.”
“When you are in this position, it’s important to create and I think we’ll take our chances next time.” Benitez said as quoted on BBC Sports.
Newcastle’s next two games, against fellow strugglers Norwich and Sunderland who visit St James’ Park on Sunday, a point better off but clear of the relegation zone on goal difference only. The fixtures are central to their survival hopes.
“We have to improve in both areas and that is our job now. We have one full week and we need to improve these little things. It’s a question of having a bit of luck, but we have to think about the positives and we are creating chances.
“We started really well, but the reaction of the team in the second half was pleasing because you could see the commitment of the players and we were trying to win.
“We know our next game against Sunderland will be important for everyone, but I have a feeling the fans are really good and they are the number 12 for the next game.” the new coach added.
Newcastle began brightly against the league leaders, but fell behind to a Shinji Okazaki overhead kick and were unable to equalise despite both Ayoze Perez and Moussa Sissoko going close.