“We have almost two more weeks training before then with the manager and him drilling his philosophy. We have to be positive.”
Benitez has turned to a little-known former Forest Green forward to help Newcastle rediscover their goal threat.
Glasgow-born Allan Russell hopes to work his magic with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and Papiss Cisse, after being recommended to the Spaniard for his good work with West Brom’s England under-21 hitman Saido Berahino.
Freelance coach Russell’s input has already paid dividends, after Mitrovic claimed his sixth goal of the campaign to earn a point against the Black Cats.