Rafael Benitez says Newcastle's players must fight for their future
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 02/04/16 12:04am
Rafael Benitez says his players cannot expect to leave Newcastle for a bigger club this summer if the Magpies are relegated from the Premier League.
Newcastle head to Norwich on Saturday knowing a defeat would leave them six points from safety with just seven games remaining.
Several of Newcastle's big-money signings this season have so far failed to impress and Benitez says his players must improve if his side are to survive relegation.
"It's difficult, but at the same time it's very simple. They know that we are responsible for the situation, they know that the next year if something is wrong, they have to do their best to change things," said the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss.
"It will not be easy to say, 'Oh I will go'. They lose value, the players lose value. I don't think that anyone wants to go down because it will be bad for everyone if we go down.
"It's not just the CV. Because we are professionals it is the CV, the money, everything, so it's not easy when you're not doing well at your job to get a better job than where you are now."
Newcastle head to Carrow Road without the services of injured first- and second-choice goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot, with Karl Darlow expected to deputise in goal.
Daryl Janmaat, Paul Dummett, Sylvain Marveaux, Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote are also sidelined whilst Jack Colback is serving a two-match ban, meaning that Moussa Sissoko is likely to start in defence this weekend.
"I had a conversation with him yesterday and said, 'Listen, you are so important, even if you have to play as a striker or a 'keeper or maybe as a left full-back', so yesterday [Thursday] we were practising with him in this position," said Benitez.
"If you ask him, 'What do you prefer?', he would say he wants to play as a No 10 or a winger or whatever. But he knows he is a key player for us and if he has to do it, he will do it."