First Comments From Rafa Benitez’ Press Conference

Rafa Benitez has just completed his press conference for the FA Cup 3rd round tie at Birmingham City tomorrow afternoon.

After losing four of our last eight league games and five of the last nine if we include the League Cup defeat at Hull City, Rafa will be keen to get back to winning games.

rafa benitez press conference

Rafa Benitez at his press conference

Some of Rafa’s comments are now being reported on the Newcastle United Twitter account and on Chronicle Live.

Here are some of Rafa’s comments in no particular order:

“We’re very positive, and we’re thinking about the future and the next game.”

“We have to analyse in perspective. At the start of the season, we wanted to be promoted and have a good run in the cup.”

“We will try to be strong enough to win the game, while using the squad.”

“It’s important for players who are not playing to get a chance to show what they can do.”

“It’s an opportunity for some players.”

“There is a lot of speculation about Mitrovic – we are not interested in selling him.”

“He reacted fine (to being left out of the squad). He knew he had to keep working, he did and went to the gym.”  “Murphy is working hard so deserved a chance”

“We want to be sure that if we sign a player, he is the one that we want.”  “We are looking for the right players.”

Looks like Rafa will give a game to some of our finge players tomorrow.

But it would be good if we can get a win at Birmingham who have had no change of fortunes since new manager Gianfranco Zola took over in mid-December following the sacking of Gary Rowett.

A low 63% think we can win this game tomorrow.

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Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #1


    Yeah I thought this year would be the making of Perez but hes really struggled and I think its because teams are marking him out of the game and not giving him any time on the ball he gets 1 touch and then bang theres a defender snapping him straight away!

    In the premiership teams are a bit more open and wont be parking the bus so he may get a little more room to play with

    It probably doesn’t help that most of our attacks come down the right hand side we rarely spread the play or go through the middle plus with him and Gayle the ball keeps coming back as both get snapped the 2nd they get the ball

    Also the expectation level has gotten to him and a few others this season struggling with the heavy shirt !

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #2

    “Rafa Benitez says Aleksandar Mitrovic set to start against Birmingham in the #facup”

  • AncientC

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #3

    Mitrovic to start? A couple of CBs in Birmingham will have trouble getting their 8 hours tonight.

  • hibbit

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #4

    not sure anyone in birmingham team will lose any sleep over him !!!
    they would be more concerned if Gayle was starting

  • Tsunki

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #5

    “He reacted fine (to being left out of the squad). He knew he had to keep working, he did and went to the gym.”


    “I told him to get his fat backside into the gym and work off that Xmas so he did” .

  • toonincheek

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #6

    I see a fundamental problem with a ‘replacement’ for Shelvey..

    We need an alternative to Shelvey to cover for injuries/rotation/whatever.

    If we are looking for a replacement in the same mould,
    we will have a problem because such a player must know
    he will be second choice most of the time and get limited playing time.

    Maybe better to develop an alternative game plan?

  • Tsunki

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #7

    Hibbit, I think he means the hammering he’ll give them. Gayle won’t be doing any of that.

  • Tsunki

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #8

    Why would a player “in the same mould” as Shelvey be resigned to second choice? He might turn out to be a better fit.

  • toonincheek

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #9

    Tsunki –

    Yeah, but it looks like it would then be one or the other.

    It doesn’t work playing two players who aim to control/dictate the game.

  • toonincheek

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #10

    Tsunki –

    Of course, if we can pick up someone who is BETTER than Shelvey,
    that’s a new ball game.

    And the chances of thyat aree . . . .

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #11

    Interesting news about Sammy. By all accounts he’s been unplayable for Bolton at times, who are desperate to retain him. Might be he’s finally becoming the player he always threatened to be. Be interesting to see how this develops because I can’t see why he would be brought back unless Rafa was considering involving him. Maybe Atsu’s absence might have some bearing on it. Strange indeed.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #12


    Sammy is a weird one he has lots of skill and ability , sometimes he just looked really lazy ?!

    Potentially he could offer a bit more end product than Gouffran at this level who lets face has stunned everyone by turning his toon career around this season!!

    Maybe Rafa has had time to look at him and thought lets try him out for cover ? Hes played a lot of games and has been in good form so its not like he would be getting chucked in at the deep end

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #13

    I saw a fair bit of Judge before his nasty injury and fail to see why people are against the lad. He can pass a ball like Shelvey and not afraid to go past defenders either. Burnley were in for him when they got promoted but Brentford wouldn’t sell. He’s far better than many people realise and would fit in perfectly. Sadly he’s only just started training again, so maybe not worth the risk, but that certainly isn’t based on a lack of talent.

    I Must’ve missed something (again). Why do people think jail has departed the blog?

  • Bobbybee

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #14

    Lee, I always liked Sammy, but his inconsistency let him down. There’s no doubting his natural ability and we need someone capable of beating defenders, so maybe this loan has served its purpose. Be interesting to see how it develops. One thing is for sure, when he’s on form he’s difficult to stop. Might even see him at Birmingham which would surprise a lot of people – me included! 🙂 Still, without Atsu, he would fit in if he’s on song.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #15

    Agree with Bobby on judge. Very good player in my opinion, a bit of a mix between lallana and mata in playing style.

    I think Sammy amoebi is worth a shot this month on the left winger. We have certainly needed a left winger and not a player just filling in and doing a job.

    Just because we sign a creative cm, doesn’t mean they have to be playing every week or be an understudy. The point is to sign someone in order to provide competition, push each other to player better and should one get injured or suspended, you are not then left short. Personally would love to see Will Hughes.

  • hibbit

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #16

    been no sign of jail since the blackburn game
    i know he works offshore so he could have been called away
    but its just not like him to not post for this long

  • Jib

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #17

    I remember late October 2014 when we were in the relegation zone and went down to Spurs and were getting hammered first half and were lucky to be just one goal down
    Sammy with virtually the first kick of the second half scored a belter then Ayoze Perez got a second to totally rob TH.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #18


    Yeah its a shame Judge got injured when he did as we probably would have signed him and the combination of Gayle, Richie, Judge and Shelvey would have ripped up this league!

    In terms of Sammy I don’t think there is much of a difference between him and Atsu in terms of quality so maybe Rafa cant get a better winger in this window as prices are too high etc so why not give him a go

    Be interesting to see what he is like if he does play it really is the last chance saloon for his career

  • Moonraker15

    Jan 6, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #19

    Sammy’s coming back because Bolton defaulted on the loan fee and basically can’t afford his wages!


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