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Gary Lineker “Rafa Benitez has done a great job, really turned it around, no doubt about that”

12 months ago
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After reaching 38 points and hitting the top half of the table, Gary Lineker was full of praise for Rafa Benitez.

With six games to play Newcastle are now 10 points clear of the relegation zone on Sunday morning.

Gary Lineker declaring ‘He has really turned it around, Rafa Benitez has done a great job, no doubt about that.’

The win over (Lineker supporting) Leicester was Newcastle’s third win in a row and the Match of The Day presenter asked Danny Murphy whether a certain signing had played a major role in the turn around in form.

Kenedy has now started eight matches and Newcastle have won four and drawn three of them, giving 15 points from a possible 24, the winger contributing two goals and two assists.

Danny Murphy things Kenedy, as well as Rafa Benitez of course, has had a massive impact and it is not just goals and assists, but the Brazilian’s all round play that has helped bring out a lot more from this Newcastle team.

Gary Lineker talking on Match of The Day:

‘Has Kenedy given Newcastle something different?’

Danny Murphy:

“He has given them good energy and freshened things up.

“The last month Newcastle have improved a lot.

“Kenedy gives great delivery on set-plays, good energy, goes at people.

“He is quite confident the way he plays, he tries things, he is creative.

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“He just gave them a lift when they were quite flat.

“I think a cuple of wins always helps…you start seeing Shelvey, Perez as well, coming out and playing with a bit more freedom when you have got those points.

“Chelsea bought him for a reason.

“Obviously there have been some question marks regarding his mentality or application.

“For Newcastle in recent weeks he has put in some really good performances, I like his intent. It just gives Newcastle something different.

“Newcastle are (staying) up, they deserve great credit.”

Gary Lineker:

He has really turned it around, Rafa Benitez has done a great job, no doubt about that.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leicester 1 Newcastle 2

Goals:

Newcastle: Shelvey 18, Perez 75

Leicester: Vardy 83

Possession was Leicester 66% Newcastle 34%

Total shots were  Leicester 8 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Leicester 1 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Leicester 7 Newcastle 5

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 81), Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Joselu 70)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Merino

Crowd: 32,066 (3,200 Newcastle)

(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction to the result HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 2-1 victory HERE)

(Leicester boss Claude Puel reacts to the defeat HERE)

(Rafa Benitez verdict after picking up yet another three points – Read HERE)

(3 positives and 3 negatives from Leicester 1 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(Match ratings of all Newcastle players after the match HERE)
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