Soccer: Benitez urges Newcastle to meet Christmas points target
(Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has asked his players to ensure six points in their next six Premier League games to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle.
Newcastle's 3-0 defeat to Watford at St James' Park was their a fourth consecutive league defeat which saw them drop to 14th in the table, four points above the drop zone after 13 matches.
In an attempt to rally a young and inexperienced squad, Benitez has set a 20-point target at halfway stage into the season as they prepare to face West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea, Leicester City, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham United by Christmas.
"If my target for the first half of the season is 20 points and we have 14, we have to be sure we use these next six games to get those points," he told reporters.
"We then have to try to improve in the second half of the season. We have to learn in the Premier League what happens if you make one mistake.
"It will be tough, but I still think we are in a good position. It's important in any team, especially a young team. When you are winning it gets easier."
Newcastle defender DeAndre Yedlin said they must come together as a club to end their losing streak when they visit West Brom on Tuesday.
"We have to stay together, not just as a team but as a club, the fans as well," he said.
"We are just trying to stay positive. It's very hard to after a performance like that, but it's what you have to do. We are going to have drops like this, so you have to try to stay positive and bounce back."
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)