What Everton, Leeds United, Newcastle and the rest have said about the relegation battle

Everton, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Burnley, Watford, Brentford and Norwich City are all fighting to stay in the Premier League.

The battle for the Premier League title couldn’t be much closer.

And the scrap at the opposite end of the division is always proving just as intriguing.

There’s a dogfight to remain in the most lucrative league in the world all right - with Everton well in the mix.

Never have the Toffees been relegated from the Premier League, while you have to go back all the way to 1954 since they plied their trade outside the top flight.

But the threat of the drop looms large. After just two victories in 20 games, garnering a horrendous nine points in total during that period, Everton now hover above the bottom three only on goal difference.

Luckily for the Blues, there six other sides who aren’t safe from relegation just yet.

As the 2021-22 season reaches a crescendo, we take a look at what every club in the mix at the foot of the table is saying.

20th - Norwich City

Dean Smith reacts during Norwich’s loss to Chelsea. Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The yo-yoing Canaries look set to suffer relegation for the second time in three years.

Norwich suffered a 2-1 loss to Leeds United on Sunday, which leaves them cut five points adrift and have played three more matches than Everton.

However, Dean Smith insists that Norwich will not be surrendering their top-flight status until it’s mathematically impossible to survive.

Speaking to the BBC after the Leeds loss, Smith said: “Not an awful lot [of positives to take]. It’s a team that were six points ahead of us and are now nine.

We knew the size of the task anyway. We’ve got three weeks without a game now and it’ll be a tough three weeks.

Better quality in the final third. There certainly won’t be any white flags going up.

I won’t allow that. While there are 27 points still to play for, we will play for every one of them.”

19th - Burnley

Burnely manager Sean Dyche. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

The Clarets are at risk of losing their top-flight status for the first time since 2016.

They lost 2-0 to Brentford on Saturday and have accrued 21 points and played a game more than Everton.

Despite the setback against the Bees, Sean Dyche insisted that it wasn’t a huge blow.

He said: “It’s just a reality, it’s not a big blow, we’ve still got 11 games to go.

“It’s the reality of the Premier League, we know it well.

There’s not a lot wrong with the performance; we were on the ascendency, creating chances, then we give away a really poor goal.

“There’s a big frustration. The marvel of a team performance is that when you can’t find that win, don’t lose!

“Today was that kind of feeling because it felt like we were in the ascendancy, we had a large part of the game, we kept them down to minimal chances for a home side.”

18th - Watford

Watford manager Roy Hodgson. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Hornets sit on 22 points and have nine matches remaining.

Watford defeated Southampton 2-1 on Sunday which moved them level on points with Everton, having played three games more.

The Vicarage Road outfit are still to play Everton, Leeds, Brentford and Burnley at home.

Roy Hodgson believes that could give Watford a big boost.

After the Southampton win, he said: “We know quite frankly, that we’ve got four games against the teams that we’re catching up, if you like.

“They’re going to be tough games and they’re going to be killer games in a way because if we continue to do okay, everyone is going to expect: ‘Okay, now you’re playing them at home, bang, you’re going to win’.

“But that’s not the way the Premier League works. You know, Southampton didn’t expect Newcastle to come here and Watford to come here and win. They’re playing well, they are good team, but that’s what happens to you. So I’m fearful, if you like it, in that respect for those games.

“But on the other hand, you can’t deny, they do give you a chance, you know, they are home games.

“They are six pointers if you’d like to call them that. And we don’t have to lose them. If we’re going to lose them, it’ll hopefully be because the other team were better, not because we didn’t do enough.

“We’ve known from the start, Ray Lewington and I, we’re in a dogfight, we will do our very best to do what the club has asked of us – to work with the team, to try and make them a better team unit, and hopefully then to get some points.

17th - Everton

Everton boss Frank Lampard. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Toffees sit above the relegation zone because of goal difference but have 12 matches remaining.

After the 1-0 loss to Wolves, Frank Lampard called on his players to show the ‘desire and fight’ to get out of their predicament.

He said:“The important thing for us is to have the absolute desire and fight to get out of this.

“It has been a long time the players haven’t won games, it is impossible to change that overnight, without working and fighting for something to go in your favour.

“The more we fight and stay together, then something may go in our favour that changes the look of it [Premier League table] very quickly.

“We have to keep working to be the team [in lower reaches] that gets the right results.”

16th - Leeds United

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch. Picture: George Wood/Getty Image

The White opted to axe cult hero Marcelo Bielsa from the Elland Road hot seat and replace him with Jesse Marsch last month.

After three losses in his opening three games, Marsch finally got a win under his belt against Norwich City at the weekend.

Leeds are four points above the drop zone with nine matches remaining.

Marsch believes his troops took a huge step forward in their bid for survival in the defeat of Norwich.

The American said: “The three points are incredibly valuable. What I take away is that the performance was strong and the idea of how we want to play the game.

“The details tactically of where we want to be and how we want to play together was much, much, much better than both of the last games, certainly better than Aston Villa and even better than Leicester.

“So, you know, this is a big step forward for us not just because of the points but also because of the clarity on the pitch, tactically.”

15th - Brentford

Brentford boss Thomas Frank. Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The Bees picked up an important victory against Burnley last weekend.

It moved Brentford onto 30 points with nine games remaining as they look to survive their maiden Premier League campaign.

Boss Thomas Frank insists he’s looking up the table rather than what’s happening below.

He said: “It won’t be a problem (keeping the players feet on the ground). I expect it will be easy because this group of players are very, very hungry, very ambitious. By now we are already looking ahead to the next game.

“We’ve always said we want to finish as high as possible, so we’re always looking to catch the team above us because it’s better to look forward and chase someone instead of looking at what’s behind you.

“It sounds very good when I’m saying it. It’s not that easy to do every single day but it’s the best possible mentality you can have, so we will do whatever we can and will not rest until we’ve played the last game against Leeds.”

14th - Newcastle United

Newcastle chief Eddie Howe. Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

The Magpies looked doomed at one stage but have transformed their season.

Newcastle now sit on 31 points with 10 matches remaining having picked up significantly.

They were beaten 1-0 at Chelsea on Sunday and Eddie Howe was fuming his side were not given a penalty - as he’s adamant the St James’ Park side are not yet safe.

Newcastle chief Howe said: “The penalty with the use of VAR, I cannot understand how that has not been given, or the ref has not been asked to go to the monitor and review his decision. That makes a mockery of VAR.

“We are still in a relegation battle.

“Under no illusion we have to respond and we are looking forward to some big games ahead.”