Rafa Benitez has met the media ahead of the (latest) make or break relegation match against Swansea.
Apart from Paul Dummett and Jack Colback both now able to start on Saturday, Rafa says that otherwise ‘We have got to manage with the players we have’.
Benitez had hinted after the latest collapse at Southampton that he could make a number of changes – but once again that would mean simply recycling players that had already been poor to average this season already.
Swansea are an in-form team and after beating Chelsea last weekend, they reached the magical 40 points – something which Rafa Benitez thinks will mean that they are likely to come with a more expansive game plan, which could mean opportunity knocks for Newcastle United IF they are capable of taking advantage.
A big factor tomorrow could be the early kick-off between Norwich and Sunderland.
A Sunderland win would mean that if Newcastle could Swansea they would be only two points behind the mackems and three behind Norwich and safety…
Rafa Benitez is relaxed about the fact that the players will be taking note of that result ahead of the game at St James Park – saying it would be impossible to prevent them knowing anyway.
“When you are fighting to stay up, you feel the pressure for sure. I am asking the team to give everything and finish without regret.”
“Dummett is coming back. Taylor, Janmaat and Coloccini are not available. We have to manage with the players we have.
“The other scores don’t matter. We have to win our game. I think we can win games and get the points we need to stay up.
“Swansea have confidence. They are organised. They aren’t at risk of relegation so they will play football.
“In training sessions, the team is doing well. Now is the time to show it and play as a team on the pitch.
“We have to have confidence. It’s massive for us, crucial for us. We have to start winning games.
“Norwich v Sunderland, we can’t impact on it – can’t help the players taking notice (of it). I am confident we can get the points to stay up. The fans can make the difference.”