Rafa Benitez sets Newcastle points target and plays down Leicester link
Rafa on Leicester link: "You know my answer, I am really focused on the next game. I know we have a job to do and we have to stay up"
By Danny Gallagher
Last Updated: 25/02/19 5:27pm
Rafa Benitez feels 38 points may be enough to secure Premier League survival with Newcastle this season.
Benitez, who has this week been linked with the vacant position at Leicester City, saw his side beat Huddersfield on Saturday as Newcastle moved onto 28 points, four clear of the relegation zone.
Ahead of Newcastle's match against Burnley on Tuesday evening, Benitez was asked whether he believed in the '40 point safety total' to remain in the top flight.
"I think this year will be less than 40 points," said Benitez. "In my experience, last year I was talking about 40, this year I think 38 could be fine.
"Even maybe less, but it depends."
Benitez insists the game against Sean Dyche's side is his only priority - rather than rumours about a potential switch to Leicester.
He played down speculation when asked about his reported inclusion on a shortlist of targets, despite his Newcastle contract currently set to end in the summer.
"Not very short, no? It's quite long now," the 58-year-old remarked of the shortlist.
"You know my answer, I am really focused on the next game. I know we have a job to do and we have to stay up. To do that we have to stay focused.
"I understand the issue about my contract and now this position is something you have to ask for but you have to understand my main target now is to get three points against Burnley."
Benitez confirmed only Rob Elliot and Ciaran Clark are unavailable for selection.