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Rafa Benitez defiant at Spurs press conference “I’m a fighter, I like to fight. So that’s what I will do.”

11 months ago
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Rafa Benitez has met the media on Friday lunchtime.

The Newcastle manager talking to the press ahead of the Tottenham game and in the aftermath of a chaotic summer transfer window.

It has been a case of deja vu in terms of this transfer window and at Rafa’s press conference it is a repeat of the aftermath of the previous three transfer windows.

Rafa Benitez clearly not happy about the farce of the last three months but immediately getting his down to business hat back on.

The manager making it clear that talk must now stop about these past three months, the only thing important now being the team and how he prepares it for Saturday and beyond.

Asked about a left-back the manager confirmed he had hoped to bring somebody in to compete with Paul Dummett but that you can’t always get all the signings you want. I think we had all worked that one out!

As for the Spurs match, the manager indicated that pretty much everybody was fit, apart from Florian Lejeune of course, but that he wouldn’t be including Federico Fernandez in his Newcastle squad on Saturday as he has just arrived. Rafa confirmed that Shelvey, Dubravka and Diame are all ok to play.

Rafa Benitez:

“There is a time to do business and a time to focus on football.

“For me, as responsible for the team, my target is to be sure the players are focused on the game.

“So, everything that happened outside the pitch, we have to forget quickly.

“I’m a fighter, I like to fight. So that’s what I will do.

“I want the best for our players.

“I am calm now.

“Rafa upset? It is not the time to do that.

“Could be better? Yes.

The Premier League is so competitive, you have to fight. It will be difficult.

“The main thing for me now is to be sure I bring the best from our players. The way to do that is to focus on football.

“To bring in new players is important, because if a player sees someone running faster, they have to run faster too. The competition is good.

“The reality is that we have a team that did well last year.

“We are ready and I am quite excited and quite happy because I can see the players working hard and training as well as they did last year.”

Against Tottenham:

“Now is the time to focus on Tottenham and this very difficult game.

“Every season, every game is different.

“Jonjo Shelvey is more mature (now, compared to when sent off last season).

“The players know we’re playing against a very good team and the key is to stay focused and have the right mindset from the first moment.”

Who is available for Spurs game?

“We have more or less everybody fit and Federico Fernandez is fit but he is not in the squad tomorrow, as he came in late and needs to get to know everybody.”

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