Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has backed Newcastle to avoid relegation this season because of one key factor – Rafa Benitez.
Carragher, who won the Champions League during six seasons playing under Benitez at Anfield, believes the Spaniard possesses an unerring talent for picking up unexpected results, much like the 1-0 win over Manchester United he masterminded, is the ace up Newcastle’s sleeve in their battle to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
“It’s what I’ve been saying all along about Rafa Benitez. That win is why I think they won’t go down – because of the manager,” the former England international said on Monday Night Football during an analysis of Newcastle’s victory that was transcribed by The Chronicle
“He has an ability to get a result where you’d never have expected it. They go into the bottom three, Man United at home, you think they’ve got no chance of winning and they could be marooned at the bottom.
“They get that victory and that’s what they will do between now and the end of the season. They will get wins that other teams maybe won’t – because of the belief that crowd and that group of players has in the manager, and maybe the belief he has in himself.”
Newcastle face a crunch clash away at Bournemouth in 11 days time and Benitez will hope his players can produce a similar performance to put further daylight between themselves and the bottom three.