Newcastle V Swansea at St James' Park : Match Preview

By
15 April 2016
Newcastle V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Rafael Benitez desperate for Newcastle to kick-start survival bid against Swans

Rafael Benitez has told his Newcastle players not to leave the pitch with any regrets as they attempt to belatedly kick-start their Barclays Premier League survival drive against Swansea.

Four games into his brief reign at St James' Park, the 55-year-old Spaniard is still awaiting his first victory and the single point he has banked to date has done little to ease the plight into which he stepped as Steve McClaren's replacement.

However, four of the six games the Magpies have in which to rescue themselves - they are currently six points adrift of safety - will take place at St James' Park, and he is hoping the first of them against the Swans can give them the boost they need with the pressure mounting.

Benitez said: "You feel the pressure fighting for titles or trying to avoid relegation, you feel the pressure for sure. What you have to do is what we're trying to do.

"We're trying to be clean with our instructions, to train well. And after in football sometimes you need a little bit of luck as well. If we score the first goal, maybe we'll see the quality of these players during the whole game.

"The only thing that I'm asking the players is that they have to give everything and finish the game without regret that they left everything there. I think everybody expects that. The fans will be behind them if they do that."

Newcastle are without a win in seven games, a run which has seen them collect just that one point - from a 1-1 derby draw with Sunderland - and once again go into a game with an already imbalanced squad further depleted by injury.

Right-back Daryl Janmaat is the latest casualty after breaking two fingers when he punched the dressing room wall after last weekend's dismal 3-1 defeat at Southampton.

Benitez revealed the Dutchman was prepared to play with that injury, but will be ruled out anyway with a groin problem.

He said: "Because he's injured, we can't do anything. He's ready to take the risk, if he has to do it, with his hand, but we still have to find a solution to his groin problem."

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin prepares to renew battle with Benitez again admitting that he is not surprised by Newcastle's relegation plight.

Guidolin crossed swords with Benitez in Italy when he was at Udinese and the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager was in charge of Inter and Napoli.

Benitez had the edge in the three games with one victory and two draws, but it is the Spaniard who finds himself in the trickier position now.

Whereas Swansea all but secured their Barclays Premier League status last weekend by beating Chelsea to reach the cherished 40-point mark, Newcastle are six points from safety and in real danger of the drop with Benitez struggling to turn things around.

But veteran Swansea head coach Guidolin said: "I have seen many things in my job over 41 years and nothing could surprise me any more.

"Newcastle are a big club and they have good players. I do not know what has happened there, but it is not a surprise because football is difficult.

"But I know Rafa and I consider him a good manager. I hope for him that Newcastle stay up, but Saturday is an important match for us too and I hope to see my team play like we did last weekend."


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