Was Saturday’s heartbreaking loss to Norwich City the proverbial straw that broke Newcastle United’s back?
The Magpies twice came back to equalize at Carrow Road through Aleksandar Mitrovic, only to give up a stoppage time goal to Martin Olsson and fall to six points shy of safety with seven matches to go.
[ MATCH RECAP: Norwich 3-2 Newcastle ]
Both Mitrovic and Rafa Benitez were stung by the loss, with the striker lamenting their fortune.
From the BBC:
“We need more time with Rafa but you can see on the pitch that we are playing better football and creating more chances. But every mistake we make is punished.”
Benitez is maintaining some hope, though you can feel the pain from a manager who’s used to dealing with the desperation that comes with competing for European places.
“Today was a pity. We conceded in the last minute of the first half and then we reacted well but we are disappointed. We worked hard but it is not enough to win games. We have seven games to go and we have to keep pushing.”
“Now it is more difficult but we have to keep confident that we can still do it. What upsets you more is the way that we concede in the last minute of each half.”
“If we start winning games we still have time.”
Newcastle visits Southampton next week before a three-match run over seven days that sees the Magpies make up their match-in-hand on its relegation foes. They’ll host Swansea and Man City before visiting Liverpool.
It’s difficult to imagine Newcastle staying up, though the Magpies still face Swansea, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.