Rafa Benitez has given an insight into the problems he has faced in terms of dealing with the players he has inherited at St James Park.

The Newcastle boss continues to insist that the effort is there from the players but he is struggling when it comes to teaching the players what they have to do in games.

Rafa says that all he can do is run through the lessons in training each day and hope it clicks in time to save the club this season.

Benitez believes that the players have to quickly improve mentally if results are going to turn around in these final seven games.

Rafa Benitez states that ‘anything can happen’ in football and that by giving everything, it will be possible to go against the ‘stats’ – both the fact Newcastle have only won six PL matches this season and of course the awful record down at Southampton.

In the Premier League era, Newcastle have played 15 times on the south coast, winning one, drawing three and losing 11.

Rafa Benitez speaking ahead of Southampton:

“There are a lot of things we have to learn…the only way to do this is to practice every day.

“The effort from the team is there, they just have to improve mentally – learn to approach this game with confidence.

“We have to stop the mental block that the players have we do that by winning (tomorrow).

“When stats go against you, the best way to address this is to give everything you can on the pitch and sometime your fortunes can change.

“It is football, anything can happen and hopefully this game will be the first (of many wins).

“Physically – the team are fine.

“Mentally – when they train you can see that they are trying as well.

“But when you go into a game and you know how important it is for everyone, you have something against you and this can be the most difficult thing to overcome when you are at the bottom end of the table.”

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