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Anxiety killing Newcastle, says Benitez

Rafael Benitez says anxiety is killing Newcastle United after they moved closer towards Premier League relegation with a ninth consecutive away defeat at Southampton on Saturday.

Benitez's men were well beaten at St Mary's Stadium by Southampton, who eased to a 3-1 success thanks to Shane Long's fourth-minute strike and further goals from Graziano Pelle and Victor Wanyama.

Andros Townsend netted a spectacular consolation for Newcastle but the Tyneside club remain six points adrift of safety with as many games to play.

Benitez told BBC Sport: "To be fair, the last three games have been the same. I've been saying the same thing. Second half we did much better but I'm really disappointed with the first half.

"Everyone needs to know that we have a lot of people behind us and so we need to give everything.

"Normally when you are in the position we are in, when you start the game conceding a goal, it's not the best. We have to show more character like we did in the second half.

"We have four more games at home and we will need everyone's support there. In the second half, the team showed we had character.

"Away we are not doing well. At home we have the fans behind us and we need them. It's not the time to criticise. We have six games to play and everyone is important.

"It's important that everybody continues to believe. The anxiety is killing us sometimes. If we can control these things then things will change."