Rafa Benitez has met the media on Friday afternoon ahead of the trip to Watford.
The Newcastle manager looking to get back onto the winning trail after the last two defeats.
Ciaran Clark and Christian Atsu are ruled out through injury, but Rafa Benitez also confirmed that a number of first team players will be left out after losing to Everton and West Brom, ‘to keep everyone on their toes.’ Mikel Merino was spotted in training this week so presumably he is once again available.
Rafa also revealed that despite not being able to play in the remaining matches, Islam Slimani has asked if he can stay on and keep training with Newcastle until the end of the season.
Predictably, Rafa Benitez was asked about his own future, just as predictably he wasn’t giving much away.
The United boss said the club and himself are ‘still talking’ but it is the ‘Same situation…almost’
The manager also claims there is no need to panic with regards to transfers this summer, admitting that it is ‘always important to get things done as quickly as possible’ but that moving the transfer window won’t mean not enough time to do what he needs to do (ED: If Mike Ashley lets him!).
“In the beginning, finishing in the top 17 would have been an achievement.
“To finish in the top 10 would be even better.
“Our idea is to get three points in every game, especially when you lose a couple.
“We will make some changes [at Watford], trying to keep everyone on their toes.
“Watford have good players and they had chances at Spurs.
“When you’re safe it is not easy but we are expecting some surprises from them.
“[On extending Newcastle stay] We are still talking [but] no news, means no news.
“Still talking. No news. Same situation….almost.
“We want to get it sorted as soon as is possible.
“It is always important to get things done as quickly as possible [in a transfer window] but we do have plenty of time to do transfers [despite changes to summer transfer window].
[Steven Gerrard getting Rangers job] “Congratulations to him.
“He will be a manager who has fresh ideas and I think he can do well.
“I don’t think that it is a risk for Rangers, he is a name and will take people with experience there.”