Rafael Benitez calls for Newcastle unity to end five-match winless run
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 11/01/19 3:58pm
Rafa Benitez has called for unity at Newcastle as they attempt to end a run of five matches without a victory and lift themselves away from the Premier League relegation zone.
Newcastle's last win came away to Huddersfield on December 15, and they currently lie 15th in the table with just two points separating them from the drop zone.
The Magpies' previous match saw them held to a draw in the FA Cup by Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn, and Benitez said: "After some important games, people can be disappointed, but other Premier League teams have struggled recently too.
"The mood was quite negative after the FA Cup game, but we know it's not easy. We have to keep training as we do, change quickly and be ready for a tough game.
"I am not (downbeat) at the moment. It's a big city and a big club. But when we stick together and are united we are better.
"The reality is that we have to stick together until the end. We have to carry on fighting. We will have problems, but we will do it.
"The mood is fine (in the dressing room). Yes we are disappointed to lose but they recover quickly. The reality is we are in a very difficult division and it is hard.
"Last year in January we were in a difficult position, then we started winning. It will be close to the end."
Newcastle face a tricky game on Saturday as they bid to end their winless streak, with Benitez's side travelling to Stamford Bridge to take on fourth-placed Chelsea.
Benitez, who spent six months at Chelsea during the 2012/13 season as interim manager, was pessimistic about Newcastle's chances, saying: "We know they are a very good team.
"They are playing with a high intensity and Spurs struggled against them the other day.
"The top six are miles ahead of the others. In one game anything can happen, but the reality is the money they have spent means they are miles away."