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First quotes from Friday’s Rafa Benitez Preston press conference

4 years ago

Rafa Benitez has been speaking on Friday lunchtime at his Preston press conference.

Facing the same club only four days after that six goal hammering, this game presents slightly different challenges.

However, playing away from home and with undoubtedly very different team selections (Simon Grayson and Rafa Benitez made 16 changes between them on Tuesday), Rafa acknowledges that this will a whole different ball game.

With victories over Norwich, Huddersfield and Villa in recent weeks, it is clear that Preston’s first eleven will be a much sterner test.

At his press conference today, the Newcastle boss revealed various injury news, with top of the list being the shock news that Dwight Gayle is likely to miss tomorrow with a ‘little problem’. The unspecified injury looks to be a knock in training, as Gayle was an unused sub on Tuesday night.

Rafa was relaxed though about the situation, saying that with Mitrovic, Perez and Diame all amongst the goals in recent matches, he feels that the Championship top scorers still have plenty goals in them.

The United Manager also confirmed that Lazaar and Haidara were both now available after injury, whilst Jack Colback is definitely out after receiving stitches on Tuesday night, with Chancel Mbemba another doubt for Presto despite playing the full game in midweek.

Rafa Benitez:

“We have some players coming back (from injury), and some players with little problems.

“It will be different teams in a different competition, and it will be massively different for them as they’re playing at home.

“The key is that the staff and everyone here is pushing in the right direction.

“The fans have been amazing and they have to enjoy it.

“It’s a long, long season, with a lot of games. Everything can change in one month.

“At the moment, we have to enjoy the situation and keep trying to do the same things. We are working very hard.

Preston will change players and they have done well against the top sides. It will be tough.

“The target is to be top at the end but we also have to enjoy it for now because we are there (at the top)…the main thing though is to stay there too.”


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