Rafa Benitez has ‘a lot of sympathy’ for Newcastle fans as protests against Mike Ashley continue
Rafa Benitez has confirmed that DeAndre Yedlin is available to play against Chelsea.
The Newcastle boss also indicating that the likes of Rondon and/or Muto could start as well, as they now reaching match fitness.
Maurizio Sarri praised Rafa Benitez at his press conference earlier on Friday and the Newcastle boss returned the compliment.
When asked about his contract situation, Rafa once again simply deflected it away, saying all he is concerned about now is improving the team on the pitch.
However, when it came to being quizzed about supporter protests against Mike Ashley, the manager was far more open than previously.
Benitez saying ‘I have a lot of sympathy for our fans because they are really good. They know this club and the city and what it is like to live here.’
As well as online interference from fans against Mike Ashley via SD and other brands, Newcastle fans are once again protesting outside the Newcastle Northumberland Street branch of Sports Direct at 1pm on Sunday, plus an open public meeting has been organised by The Magpie Group for 7pm on Wednesday 5 September.
As for Lazaar and Saivet, Rafa Benitez admits that he is still trying to move them on.
Rafa Benitez speaking at his pre-Chelsea press conference:
“You have to try to win, try to win using the brain – not just the heart.”
“The main factor for us is the attitude of the players – their work rate, their mentality.
“We are talking about (playing) one of the top sides. They have a good manager – I know Sarri well from his experience in Italy.
“We have to concentrate on improving the team as much as we can.
“The new signings are closer to starting now, because they are fitter.
“Yedlin has been training – he is fine. Manquillo is better than expected, but we have to assess him.
“My contract is not an issue (when it comes to performances on the pitch), we have to concentrate on improving as much as we can.’
Asked about the fan protests against Mike Ashley:
“The Newcastle fans know all these things, they would like to see the club doing things in a certain way.
“All I say is that when they come to St James Park they have to support the team because that is the only way for us to be stronger. I respect them (the fans) but (I have to) concentrate on my job.
“I have spoken for two months on what we have to do, based on my experience.
“I have a lot of sympathy for our fans because they are really good.
“They know this club and the city and what it is like to live here.”
Saivet and Lazaar:
“Achraf Lazaar is still around because we did not have time to do it (the loan deal) with Genoa.
“As for Saivet, he is getting closer but we are still waiting for a resolution (to the transfer deal) in Turkey (to Busraspor).”
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