With a minimum of 48 games ahead of him, Rafa Benitez has talked about the importance of having a good squad, not just a team.

Deespite this, the Newcastle boss said that starting with yesterday’s match against Sporting Lokeren he had to start making sure he gave more time on the pitch to those players likely to start v Fulham, to make sure they are ‘ready’.

In his constant drive to improve the team/squad, Rafa Beintez says that despite the 4-0 win over Sporting Lokeren, the team can still ‘improve in defence, in the middle and up front’.

The Manager says that it is a big positive if despite winning ‘you can still see things that you can change (to improve the performance of the team)’.

With 10 goals in the three friendlies so far, Rafa believes that scoring those goals and creating a lot of chances have been the biggest positives so far.

Rafa Benitez speaking to NUFC TV:

“Pleased with the result obviously, the performance was fine. You have to when the team win but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“So hopefully we can do that in the next couple of weeks.”

‘Happier with the defence than last two games?’

“Don’t concede is always good but I think we made mistakes, so we still have to work hard to improve.

“I’m not disappointed obviously but we can improve in defence, in the middle and up front.

“That is good, you are winning and you can still see things that you can change.”

‘What pleased you the most?’

“In general, to see the team scoring goals and creating chances.

“I don’t like to talk too much about individuals but I think some players doing well. We needed to give them more minutes as we are getting closer to the start of the season and they have to play more minutes and be ready.

“At the same time you could see we were playing almost every player and they were doing well.

“We will play at least 48 games, so it is important the competition between players, important to have a good squad.”

Ayoze Perez, two goals today, is he a player who you can see playing a big part next season?’

“I hope so.

“Ayoze is doing well but as I said, a lot of players doing well and still room for improvement.

“No time for complacency, saying ‘we won…fantasic’, it is not like this. You have to correct mistakes and then have less things wrong at start of the season.”

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