Rafa Benitez is more than happy with Florian Lejeune’s recovery but when it comes to Newcastle United and the upcoming January transfer window…
The manager couldn’t spell it out in any more simple language ‘I have to be very clear…we don’t know the budget.’
Rafa adding ‘Normally, you start working after the summer on names, positions and characteristics of players, and we will go later on to decide. We don’t know what we will do in January because it depends on a lot of things.’
Looking on a more positive side, Rafa Benitez says that with the current pool of players: ‘We can achieve what we want to achieve, which at the moment is to stay up.’
For a manager who hoped to be competing towards top eight and having a try at the cups by now, that is a pretty damning reality check of where Rafa accepts he is at with Mike Ashley and his people.
Rafa Benitez talking to BBC Newcastle:
Florian Lejeune recovery:
“Training with the fitness coach, getting closer.
“I think to train with the team, we can talk about three weeks, maybe. I’m saying three – could be two, could be four.
“But, it’s OK, and in the videos he put on Instagram, he’s kicking the ball really well!”
Asked about the January transfer budget:
“I have to be very clear…we don’t know the budget.
“Normally, you start working after the summer on names, positions and characteristics of players, and we will go later on to decide.
“We don’t know what we will do in January because it depends on a lot of things.”
Rafa Benitez talking at his pre-Brighton press conference, as reported by Sky Sports:
“I was talking with (head of recruitment) Steve Nickson today, the head of recruitment, and not talking about January.
“I don’t know my budget but it is not a problem. I’m used to working without big money in all my teams – not at Liverpool, Chelsea or even Real Madrid were we spending big money.
“We were still achieving something. I have confidence we will do it with this group of people, with this staff and these players.
“We can achieve what we want to achieve, which at the moment is to stay up.
“This year, when you see the teams that have been promoted, they have spent around £100m.
“It is even more difficult this year than last year but I still have confidence, because the team is more or less the same, the new players are settled and the atmosphere is quite good.
“The first win is always the most difficult.
“As soon as we win the game we will start to have more confidence and it will be easier for us.
“We are playing at home and our fans have something to prove – that Bruno was wrong (to say Newcastle fans would turn on their team if things go against them).
“Bruno was saying that the fans will be on top of the players if something is wrong.
“Our fans are very clever and they know this team cares and they are working really hard. One of our strengths is our fans. If they see something wrong they will still support the team.
“I am sure at the end of the game and end of the season everyone will be happy.”