Rafael Benitez remains confident Newcastle United will avoid relegation as the Premier League season approaches the final stages.
Newcastle are six points from safety with six games to go after suffering a 3-2 loss last time out at fellow regelation-battlers Norwich City.
Benitez’s side face a tough run home with a home clash against Manchester City and an away trip to Liverpool at Anfield to come.
However, Benitez remains optimistic his side can survive the drop, starting with an away game against Southampton on Saturday.
“I had confidence we could do better in terms of points,” the Spanish coach said. “It is fair to say I expected to win one of those three games.
When I came, I was doing numbers but afterwards I said, ‘Forget about the numbers because it is on each game and we cannot control what those teams around us do’.
“In terms of performance, Leicester [City] was a good game which could have been a draw and the reaction of the team against both Sunderland and Norwich was very positive.
“I am very competitive, more than optimistic. And I am realistic and I can see the problem but still, I can see the solutions. Everybody will say, ‘Oh, Newcastle will be relegated’ – that is normal when you see the table.
“At the same time, I can see the players changing in training. My concern would be if I saw them giving up and I don’t see that.
“I can see a lot of them working so hard so I still believe we can change this situation.”