A lot of attention was focused on Rafa Benitez after Tuesday night’s match.
Little regard was ever going to be paid to the actual match, as Newcastle struggled to a 2–2 draw at Hull City, courtesy of a late Perez goal from a corner.
Rafa Benitez declaring ‘A typical pre-season game with some positives and some negatives’, the United boss happy with the goals Newcastle scored but not so happy with the defending on those conceded and the host of chances Hull had in the second half.
After the game though, all everybody was interested in, was what the manager was prepared to say about the transfer shambles at the club, how much further he would go to expose the damage Mike Ashley is doing to the ambitions of everybody who cares about the club.
Rafa Benitez spelling it out in language where nobody can be in any doubt as to how serious things are looking: ‘Is the current squad good enough for what we need? I don’t think so. It needs additions and that is clear – it is clear what we have to do.’
“Is the current squad good enough for what we need?
“I don’t think so.
“It needs additions and that is clear – it is clear what we have to do.
“There could be a new signing in time for Portugal but then I was expecting things before…
”As I have said before (ED: Many times!), if we have new players coming it will be good and it will be better than nothing (at this late stage).
“As a manager, you would have liked to have seen these players one month ago…but if we can do something (now), it will be better than nothing.”
Asked about the #IfRafaGoesWeGo campaign:
“Everybody is expecting that you will improve the team and improve the squad and all the (other) Premier League teams are spending big money…they know how important it is.
“I said last year, I’m saying it this year again, that when you are talking about so much money from the TV, it is crucial to stay in the Premier League if you want to compete.
“If you go down then the next year is even more difficult because the difference in money is massive.
“Hopefully, we can do well in the next weeks….we can improve the squad enough to at least be competitive next year.”
With Chancel Mbemba the latest to be sold, is there now money to spend?:
“Ask Lee Charnley.”
The return of Mitro:
“He has to come back and he is due to come back on Wednesday (today).
“We have to check on how he is and then decide if he will go to Portugal.
“ Does he (Mitrovic) have a future (at Newcastle)? Tomorrow is the future for him.”
Missing players (Kenedy, Lejeune, Atsu, Gayle and Dummett were all not at Hull)?:
“Kenedy’s wife has just had a baby and so he has had some time off.
“Some of the players have little problems.
“The only one that is a bit more serious could be Lejeune who has a knee problem, we have to assess that in these next couple of days.”
“A typical pre-season game with some positives and some negatives.
“You are expecting the team to do good things, which we did with the goals.
“We conceded two goals where we have to defend a little bit better.
“That is part of the process when you are trying to improve your team during pre-season and you have some young players mixed in with senior players.”