Jonjo Shelvey returned to Newcastle United's line-up at the flawless time

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The Saints are 17 in the table just a point less than the Magpies, who are 16 and a win in this game will push either club far away from the drop zone. We managed 40 minutes, then it was a mistake. We already had a bit of pace with (Christian) Atsu and (Jacob) Murphy and the ability and work rate of (Matt) Ritchie, but Kenedy is good on the ball, he does not give it away easily and he gives us more control. I think that winning this game will be tough for Newcastle but they must get together and play for this club if they want to win. Shelvey needs to start delivering more consistently in the Premier League, and Saturday's six pointer against Southampton would be the flawless moment to rise to the task. Southampton will need to defend well and ensure that they can silence the crowd if they wish to get anything out of this game. Southampton create their best chance of the afternoon. Guido Carrillo, who is now the first choice striker for Southampton, has not done enough but should retain his place in the side for this tie.

By contrast Southampton remain firmly in the mire and their display will raise further concerns as to whether Pellegrino is the right man to keep them up.

For now, though, the Brazilian is playing a crucial role in Newcastle's survival battle, and Benitez could not be more pleased with his impact.

Shelvey, who played despite not being fully fit, received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the closing stages and said Newcastle needed to show more consistency in the home straight of what has been a patchy season.

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Chelsea youngster Kenedy has scored his very first goal for temporary employers Newcastle United against Southampton today. - After a run of 10 Premier League games without a goal or assist, Dwight Gayle has had a hand in four goals in his last four appearances in the competition (two goals, two assists).

Pellegrino has recently steadied their form to some extent, seeing the team lose only once (to Liverpool) in their previous 10 games in all competitions. The term "sleepwalking into relegation" often gets used, however, it seems highly appropriate for this situation.

Under-pressure Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino made a double-substitution at the break: Mario Lemina and Dusan Tadic made way for Shane Long and Josh Sims, but the visitors continued to struggle and failed to even muster a shot on target until the hour-mark.

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