Players Back Manager

Last updated : 23 October 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Martin Dubravka says Newcastle United’s players remain “100% behind” Rafa Benitez – after suffering a seventh Premier League defeat.

The club is propping up the division ahead of Saturday’s game against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium.

Benitez’s position has been questioned by pundits from outside Tyneside, and there were boos from frustrated fans at St James’s Park after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, which was watched by owner Mike Ashley.

The decision to take off Yoshinori Muto and replace him with Joselu was also booed by some supporters.

Benitez, however, retains the support of the overwhelming majority of United fans. They blame the team’s poor form on Ashley’s repeated failure to back Benitez in the transfer market. Dubravka, for his part, has dismissed “speculation” over Benitez’s future ahead of the Southampton game.

“We’re 100% behind him and he’s 100% behind us,” said the goalkeeper.

“It’s just speculation and just rumours.”

United have take just two points so far this season, and the club is three points adrift of Premier League safety.

“I don’t think it’s time to panic now as there’s still a lot of games in front of us,” said 29-year-old Dubravka.

“We can still take some points. I know that it can happen really soon. If we can take some victories, the confidence will go higher.

“I have to say that all of us are behind each other, behind the manager. All the club are supporting us. I don’t think it’s time to speculate (about Benitez’s position).”