Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has vowed to “fight to the end” in their bid to claim Premier League safety after earning a vital point in a 1-1 draw against Manchester City.
Vurnon Anita secured a draw for the Magpies after City striker Sergio Aguero put the away side ahead, but Benitez’s side remain 19th in the Premier League with only four games remaining.
Aguero opened the scoring with a guided header, but despite the Argentine appearing to be clearly offside, the goal stood.
Newcastle showed fight and character to find a way back into the game, and the draw means they close the gap on 17th placed Norwich City to only two points.
Speaking after the match, Benitez praised his side’s “belief” in their bid to avoid relegation to the Championship.
“I have to be pleased because against a team like Man City, to do what we have done from 1-0 down, the reaction of the team, you have to be pleased,” said the Spaniard.
“I haven’t seen the replay of Sergio Aguero’s goal but they tell me he was offside. You can not change anything. I think they should get it right but we cannot change it. That’s it.
“The team has more belief now, the fans are behind the players and they will fight to the end. Today was an example of that.
“Vurnon Anita is very clever, he knows when he has to go forward. The players are doing what they have to do, they are playing with passion, with the commitment that the fans expect.”
Benitez also praised the impact of the St James’ Park faithful, and vowed to keep fighting until the end.
“The fans appreciate the effort of the players,” said Benitez. “Everybody is trying to do everything to stay up.
“Hopefully yes [we have momentum] but we cannot have influence on other teams’ games. We have to keep believing and hopefully win the next game.
“I said when I came that it is an intimidating place for other teams. That is what we are looking for and that is what we have.”