Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is refusing to accept relegation is a done deal even if other people have.
The defeat at fellow strugglers Norwich left the Magpies six points adrift of safety ahead of this weekend’s trip to Southampton – a fixture which has yielded a league victory only once in 22 attempts – and on the brink with seven games remaining.
However, Benitez, whose three games at the helm have so far produced just a single point, is refusing to accept that the odds against a great escape are now overwhelming.
He said: “Everybody will say, ‘Oh, Newcastle will be relegated’, but that is normal when you see the table. At the same time, I can see the players changing in training.
“My concern would be if I saw the players giving up, and I don’t. I can see a lot of players working so hard in training, so I still believe we can change the situation.”
To do that, Newcastle may have to embark upon a similar kind of run to the one which saw current leaders Leicester win seven of their remaining nine games this time last season to drag themselves out of trouble.