Rafa Benitez tells Sky Sports he has to be ‘Realistic’ with his situation at Newcastle United
Rafa Benitez has been explaining the situation he finds himself in.
The Newcastle manager says you simply ‘have to be realistic’ when it comes to the position he and his squad are now in.
Rafa stating when it comes to the cup competitions: ‘Who has a chance, a realistic chance?’
Apart from the obvious teams at the top, the NUFC boss says that only those others not involved in the relegation battle can ‘have a go’ at the FA and League Cups.
Obviously regretting now that he brought him on 10 days ago, Rafa Benitez says: ‘Listen, Jonjo Shelvey was playing the other day (in the first game against Blackburn) because we were trying to change and then win the game and avoid the replay…he is injured now.’
It shows how far things have moved on and the realisation of just how bad a situation that Mike Ashley has put Rafa Benitez in, that Newcastle fans would now think it daft for the manager to take risks in cup competitions.
Although the reality is that Newcastle have so few quality players these days, who exactly are we talking about?
For me, the only two Rafa definitely has to leave out and protect for the relegation clash with Cardiff on Saturday, are Salomon Rondon and Martin Dubravka.
We have good players at centre-back but with four or five good options it is the only position where there is any strength in depth.
The seasons that infuriated Newcastle fans were some of those under Alan Pardew when Mike Ashley had a club policy of not trying in the cups and despite at times being mid-table or better, Pardew repeatedly left out key players in cup matches.
Rafa Benitez talking to Sky Sports:
“We can talk about ‘oh the cups’…but a lot of teams went out of the FA Cup. Why?
“Why are all the managers that were making decisions and their teams, were having problems and they are out?
“Why Cardiff, Fulham, nearly Southampton (they have a replay against Derby), why you see these teams and they were out?
“Because the Premier League is massive.
“You have £130m guaranteed if you are there. So everyone is trying to manage the situation.
“Also, you have to be realistic.
“Who has a chance, a realistic chance?
“Teams in the middle of the table because they can have a go because they are safe. The other teams, you have to manage it really carefully.
“I will give you an example because I read people saying ‘we have to do this, we have to do that, I don’t understand’.
“Listen, Jonjo Shelvey was playing the other day (in the first game against Blackburn) because we were trying to change and then win the game and avoid the replay…he is injured now.
“What does that mean for us, with Ki away, with Muto away (both on international duty)?
“It is a risk. It is not that you have one week and you can recover the players.
“It is a risk and you have to accept that it is a risk.
“After, you approach the game in one way or another way.
“But if you put this player in or the other one, maybe it doesn’t change anything, and then you take a massive risk.”
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