Rafael Benitez is confident Newcastle can avoid relegation this season after watching his players in training this week.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss was appointed on March 11 after the sacking of Steve McClaren and a narrow 1-0 defeat was suffered at the hands of Leicester three days later in his first game in charge.
However, despite the loss, the improved performance from the Magpies was clear to see and they were arguably unlucky not to come away from the King Power Stadium with at least a point.
Benitez has been putting his players through their paces in training ahead of Sunday’s crucial derby clash with Sunderland at St James’ Park, and the Spaniard is adamant relegation can be avoided.
He said: “I have the same confidence that I had before Â– maybe a little bit more. I have seen the commitment of the players.”
The Magpies have lost the last six meetings against the Black Cats and the last time they tasted victory was in August 2011, with a Ryan Taylor goal grabbing all three points at the Stadium of Light.