Rafa Benitez wants to win every game this season that Newcastle play, but he has a big squad with a number of players who have played very few minutes.
It looks like Rafa will continue to rotate his squad and for the game at Brentford on Saturday we will be seeing a lot of the regular players returning to the starting line-up.
But then in the replay against Birmingham at home a week tomorrow we will again see other players coming in, although we are hoping Jonjo Shelvey will play in that game and he could make a huge difference.
Rafa Benitez – in training
Rafa seems adamant that he must give all his players playing time this season.
But he also knows the FA Cup is still huge in England and of course he did win it with Liverpool back in 2006, so he knows what it takes to win the FA Cup.
Liverpool beat Alan Pardew’s West Ham 3-1 on penalties back then after the game ended 3-3 after 90 minutes with Steven Gerrard equalizing in stoppage time.
This is what Rafa has told the local press today as reported in the Chronicle:
“It was good for a lot of them. People like Cheick Tiote was working very hard and he was not playing before.”
“You can’t expect them to play 90 minutes or do everything perfectly.” “What you have to expect is they give everything and they did that, I am happy with that.”
“We approach every game trying to win. If you want to go through in the FA Cup you have to win.” “So we’re going to try to do it.”
“For me, it is a massive competition, I won it with Liverpool.”
“We know what it means. With Newcastle, if we can get through we’ll try to do it. As I always say, and I don’t lie to our fans, we try to do it with the squad.”
“You have to use players who aren’t playing too much because in the end, it’s also good for them.”
“It is good for the squad the team and the league position.”
With Rafa making eight changes to the side on Saturday we were lucky to survive, but we did and we are hoping we can get through the replay and then we play Oxford United away – a game we could win.
What do you think?