By 90Min
February 17, 2018

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has revealed the exact moment he realised his side were capable of Premier League survival.

The Magpies went on a barren run during October and November but aside from two giveaway fixtures against Manchester City, they have not actually lost in the Premier League in over two months.

The cherry on top came last weekend when they played their hearts out to earn a 1-0 victory against Manchester United at St James Park but it was the previous fixture that really offered Benitez hope.

Against Crystal Palace, Ciaran Clark gave away a silly penalty to draw the two sides level but the Magpies held on to earn a crucial point away from home against their relegation rivals which evidently pleased Rafa.

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Speaking to the Chronicle, Benitez said: "It showed you what we are. We’re a team that can make mistakes - but we never give up. That is the positive thing. Of course, it would be good if we didn’t make the mistake to begin with! But we are trying to avoid that in our games now.

"At the same time, you encourage the players to continue working and keep going. It is a good summary of our team - we can make mistakes, but we always work hard to make a lot of things right.”

Newcastle now have a week to recuperate after their impressive three points against the Red Devils while the FA Cup Fifth Round is played out and Rafa believes the extra training will do Dwight Gayle the world of good as he hopes to regain his goalscoring prowess.

The Newcastle manager added: "With strikers, it’s sometimes luck or sometimes being in the right place at the right time but the way that he is training and the way he is doing things gives me confidence.

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"We were doing a training drill and he was doing well. Normally you can see when a player is trying and a player that is trying hard. He’s doing well in the training sessions and you have confidence he will do well in the games. Hopefully, we will see him scoring goals soon."

The Magpies travel to Bournemouth next Sunday for another vital game at the Vitality Stadium.

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