Rafa Benitez has released a statement of intent after seeing the release of Newcastle’s Championship fixtures today.

Rafa saying he is ‘not the kind of manager who is really worried about the fixtures and our rivals’.

The Newcastle boss only worried about preparing his own players and putting the team in the best possible position ahead of the new season.

With 46 games ahead of them, Rafa Benitez has pointed to how essential the strength of the squad is: ‘Really important…that you can rotate players, change players, and still do well’.

No sign of any incoming transfers and with only 44 days until Newcastle play their first game, the question will be just how strong he can make that squad by the time Friday 5 August comes around.

Rafa Benitez statement of intent on the official club website:

“I am not the kind of manager who is really worried about the fixtures and our rivals.

“My idea is that you have to play against everyone, and when you will play against them doesn’t change too much in theory.

“What we do have to do is to prepare our team in the best way possible, to make sure we are strong enough to start the season in a good way, and to carry on until the end.

“You can say that we will play against Fulham in the first game, away and live (on TV), but it doesn’t change too much for me. Will it be difficult? Yes. Do we have to respect them? Yes.

“But the main thing is how good will we be this day and how good we have to be during the whole season.”

“I think that the fans make the difference for us.

“Last year, in the time that I was here, they were amazing, and hopefully they will be the same this season.

“You see the stadium, you see everything here, the atmosphere – it has to be intimidating for our rivals, and we have to win our games at home.”

“I remember when I was at Liverpool, I would always say that’s a crucial period, but it is true.

“You have so many games in a short period of time, and you don’t have time to recover. It’s really important to be sure that you’ve got a good squad – that you can rotate players, change players, and still do well.

“The fans enjoy this time, and we have to do well in it. Hopefully we can enjoy it after that period too.

“There are a lot of ex-Premier League teams playing in the Championship now, so the level is higher. I think it will be very interesting.

“There is more quality around the division, so I think that you will see better games – and it will always be exciting.”