SOUTHAMPTON CLASH – A MUST WIN FOR NEWCASTLE

Newcastle have muddled themselves into the most indefensible positions this season.The Magpies are experiencing a long bout of bad luck in the Premier League and canny manager Rafael Benítez has comeunderfire.

Benítez, who formerly managed clubs Real Madrid and Chelsea, leading the latter to Europa Cup glory during his short stint at Stamford Bridge, has yet to record any success in the Premier League this season.

Last term, the Spaniard was roped in a conflict with owner Mike Ashley over names to ship to the club, a kerfuffle that dragged on, stirring media speculations the 5ft 9 manager could exit the club over contrasting interests.

The Tyneside outfit is winless in nine games in all competitions, are currently bottom-placed on the Premier League standings.

Their clash with United a fortnight ago, hinted signs Rafa may have run out of ideas, when his side blew off a 2-goal lead against Mourinho’s Manchester United.

Newcastle were wavered by cropping hesitations by the club’s hierarchy in stretching the club’s options last season.

Their faltering circumstances underlines the need for them to bolster their squad options at the turn of the year.

This weekend the Magpies will travel to the South to take on Saints Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium.

Rafa may have to change his tack against the southerners if he wants to keep himself on the chair as Magpies manager.

The 56-year-old will have shove loyalties aside if Newcastle are to have a bounce back to winning ways.

The clash against the Hammers has been billed as a must win for the 5ft 9 boss, and has been touted as a decider for them to claw back to winning ways.

Sean Longstaff should be pinned to the centre of play, and central midfielder Mo Diame should be weeded out. Longstaff will lend enough energy to the Spaniard side, which showed streaks of tiredness in the game against United and were punished in that encounter.

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