“I guarantee the players believe in what we’re trying to do, 100 percent,” Benitez said.
Leaders Manchester United can reopen a 15-point lead over champions Manchester City when they host Norwich City today, although manager Alex Ferguson’s team selection will be heavily influenced by the Champions League round-of-16 second-leg match against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
“We have a job to do and the manager has said we need to think game to game, and just win the next match, what’s in front of us,” midfielder Michael Carrick told United’s Web site. “You can’t look too far ahead because it can come back and bite you.”
City will hope United do take their eye off the ball as they prepare for Monday’s trip to Aston Villa, who dropped back into the bottom three with a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal last weekend.
Twelve months ago, Harry Redknapp was battling for a top-four finish with Tottenham and was still in the frame for the England job, but now he finds himself in an increasingly desperate relegation fight with Queens Park Rangers.
Defeat at Southampton today would leave bottom club QPR’s survival chances looking forlorn.
Second-from-bottom Reading are only a point adrift of safety ahead of today’s trip to Everton, whose hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are receding fast.