Rafael Benitez has praised Newcastle's winning mentality after seeing them effectively secure their Premier League status with five games to spare.

The promoted Magpies head for Everton on Monday evening sitting in 10th place in the table and all but mathematically assured of a second top-flight campaign after a run of four successive victories over Southampton, Huddersfield, Leicester and Arsenal.

That was perhaps beyond the wildest dreams of fans who saw the club fail to win in nine attempts and collect only one point in the process before the turn of the year.

But Benitez, who guided Newcastle to a 1-0 win over Manchester United on February 11 to spark their surge to safety, insists his approach has never changed.

Always I talk about winning mentality and when you have a winning mentality - and we have shown that - you try to win every game, you try to go there and get three points in every game.

Rafa Benitez
St James' Park Credit: PA

Victory at Goodison would see Newcastle leapfrog their hosts, although asked what he was expecting, Benitez replied:

As always in the Premier League, a tough game, difficult because they are a good team.

Rafa Benitez