Rafael Benitez says Newcastle United have to keep pushing in their battle to preserve their Premier League status, after going down to a dramatic 3-2 defeat at relegation rivals Norwich City on Saturday.
Aleksandar Mitrovic came off the bench in the second half to twice restore parity during an entertaining affair at Carrow Road, before Martin Olsson popped up deep into stoppage time to seal a crucial winner.
The result leaves the Magpies six points adrift of safety with the prospect of a second relegation in eight seasons looking increasingly likely.
But Benitez, still awaiting his first win in the St James’ Park hotseat after replacing Steve McClaren, insists his side cannot give up on turning their season round.
He told BBC Sport: “Today was a pity. We conceded in the last minute of the first half and then we reacted well but we are disappointed. We worked hard but it is not enough to win games. We have seven games to go and we have to keep pushing.
“When we scored the second goal we were on top but we make a mistake and concede. It can happen when you don’t have too much confidence but we have to change it for the next game.
“Now it is more difficult but we have to keep confident that we can still do it. What upsets you more is the way that we concede in the last minute of each half.”
Newcastle travel to Southampton next weekend knowing that another defeat will leave them even deeper in the relegation mire, but the former Real Madrid boss claims an escape is still possible.
“If we start winning games we still have time,” he added.