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Fabian Schar tells Newcastle team-mates intensity is required to stay up

Newcastle United v Norwich City – Premier League – St James’ Park
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Fabian Schar has warned Newcastle they must maintain the standards they set against Leeds if they are to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Magpies headed off to their mid-season training camp in Saudi Arabia, where they will play Pro League leaders Al-Ittihad in a friendly on Friday, on the back of Saturday’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Elland Road that rekindled their survival hopes.

However, Switzerland international Schar knows only producing that level of performance on a sustained basis for the remainder of the campaign, allied with the new signings head coach Eddie Howe hopes to make before next week’s transfer deadline, will ease the club to safety.

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Speaking from their training base in Jeddah, he told NUFC TV: “The confidence is much higher than before.

“I think the Leeds game showed that we are strong as a team and we have to do it every game, the same mentality, the same intensity and then I’m very positive for the next few games. But we have to show it on the pitch.

“Obviously there’s much better feeling overall. I would be more difficult if we didn’t have these three points, but with this win, it’s definitely more enjoyable. Also the way we played, we know what we’re able to do.

“But now we still know there’s plenty of work to do, look for the next game and just keep going like that.”

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Newcastle, sitting in 18th place but just a point adrift of 17th, will resume their rescue mission when currently managerless and injury-hit Everton head for St James’ Park on February 8.

By then, Howe will know which players he will have at his disposal for a crucial run-in after the club have been frustrated in their efforts to add to the arrivals of Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood earlier this month.

Concerted efforts to land Lille defender Sven Botman and Sevilla counterpart Diego Carlos, as well as Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard, have so far come to nothing, and the focus of a recruitment drive which has become increasingly scattergun in nature as the window has progressed has now shifted, even if some avenues could yet be revisited.

Reports from France have suggested the Magpies have improved their offer for Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, while their interest in both Bayer Leverkusen full-back Mitchel Bakker and Brighton central defender Dan Burn is understood to be ongoing.

Financier Amanda Staveley's consortium is working hard to bolster Eddie Howe's squad

Amanda Staveley’s consortium is working hard to bolster Eddie Howe’s squad (Owen Humphreys/PA)

However, time is running down fast and with buying clubs acutely aware of their new-found spending power, deals are proving difficult to finalise.

Nevertheless, Amanda Staveley and her largely Saudi-backed consortium remain intent on adding to the squad during what promises to be a tense few days.

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