The Rafa Benitez Birmingham Press Conference has taken place on Friday lunchtime.

Ahead of Saturday afternoon’s FA Cup game, Rafa was once again quizzed about Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Having started only four Championship matches and left out of the squad altogether on Monday at Blackburn, it was bound to be a topic of debate today.

Rafa Benitez revealed that Mitrovic not only starts tomorrow’s match but also repeated once again, that he is not interested in selling the Serbian striker.

As for incoming players, the Newcastle Manager confirmed that targets have been approached and ‘could have been here – but they aren’t for different reasons’.

Interesting to see if this changes before the next Championship game at Brentford on Monday 16 January.

Rafa Benitez Birmingham Press Conference:

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

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

“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.

“It (FA Cup) is 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 will play and start (against Birmingham on Saturday).

“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.

“It is not easy because we had targets that could have been here – but they aren’t for different reasons.”