Rafael Benitez believes Newcastle surprise 2-1 win against reigning champions Manchester City on Tuesday can provide the spark for the players to pull away from Premier League relegation trouble this season.
The Magpies are now 6/1 with Betfred to be relegated after recovering from falling behind to a Sergio Aguero strike after just 25 seconds against City with Salomon Rondon equalising on 66 minutes before Matt Ritchie converted the winner from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time.
The win ended a 22-match run without a win against City, stretching back to September 2005 and more importantly stretched the Tynesiders’ lead over the bottom three to five points with 14 matches remaining.
They face another tough test on Saturday when they travel to face third-placed Tottenham at Wembley (Tottenham 4/11, Newcastle 8/1, Draw 7/2 – Match Result), but Benitez is hoping the win against City can be a catalyst for a good run of results in a similar way to last season’s win against Manchester United gave the club a huge lift.
The Spaniard said: It’s a good example that we can use in the future.
“For the players, they will feel that doing things this way, we can win against anyone because we have been close against the top sides, we have not conceded many goals and everyone has been talking about the goal difference.
“But in this case, it’s not just the goal difference, it’s three points and a lot of confidence for the future.”
Newcastle’s feel-good factor could be further enhanced before the weekend as 24-year-old Atlanta United playmaker Miguel Almiron has arrived on Tyneside to undergo a medical ahead of a club-record switch.
Monaco left-back Antonio Barreca is also thought to be on his way to secure a loan move until the end of the season, while more deals are also thought to be in the pipeline ahead of Thursday night’s deadline.
Odds subject to change