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Rafa Benitez after Burnley “I was talking with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley and so they know what I think”

4 weeks ago
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Rafa Benitez had plenty to say on Tuesday night.

Much of it about the game of course and how his team had put together this victory.

However, the manager was also chatting about the relegation fight not being over yet, Fabian Schar’s shooting ability, plus talking around what happens next.

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Namely, what follows after these next 10 games and his contract runs out.

Rafa Benitez wants to stay, the Newcastle players want him to stay, the Newcastle fans as well.

It always comes back to the same question though, does Mike Ashley have any real desire for Rafa to stick around?

Rafa Benitez talking about Sean Longstaff after beating Burnley:

“We are really pleased.

“To have a local lad playing…is an example to the rest of the players.

“Also, they are committed, both things are important.

“I said so many times when he was coming and training with us [the first team] that he was doing well.

“He was lucky enough to make his debut sooner rather than later because of injuries but he deserved to be there, then we decided to keep him in the team because he is working hard and playing well, plus his understanding with Hayden is quite good.

“He had a yellow card and they [Burnley] were trying to play on that, focusing on his yellow card. So we had to protect him [subbed in final stages].”

Rafa on talking with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley:

“I was talking with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley and so they know what I think.

“So it is not a question to talk about: ‘We want one player.’

“We talk about what we have, what we want to do with the academy, the training ground and everything, so it’s just to ensure that we have a project [if Rafa stays].

“We can do it.

“The little things we can improve a lot and hopefully we can, but at the moment, it’s just to enjoy the games and try to prepare for the next one which also will be a tough game.

“38 points, maybe, that is the target, we have a lot of positives.

“The medical staff and staff keep the players fit and so we have 24 players available: seven players on the bench and six were left outside – I was praising lads who are not in the squad because they are training hard, even though they’re not on the bench.”

Rafa Benitez on the match:

“We know he [Fabian Schar] is capable of doing that [putting the ball in the top corner from distance].

“On the ball he’s good and now he’s improving in defence, as well as the understanding with the other players is getting better.

“The first half we had the control and were adapting really well to playing a very physical team.

“We scored two good goals and then in the second half, when under pressure, we were managing well. Everybody fighting for each other and I think the fans appreciated that.

“We have a message that’s very clear, one game at a time.

“Why are we winning games now?

“Everybody is doing what they have to do and everybody is focused just on the games, it’s what we have to now do against West Ham.

“We cannot think the job is done, no chance.

“I know my staff and since a long time ago, we have finished stronger at the end of the season. Sometimes you can lose games but we finish stronger.

“Last year we were safe with five games to play and it was something I was expecting, hopefully we can carry on winning games.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Burnley 0

Goals:

Schar 24, Longstaff 38

Possession was Burnley 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were Burnley 12 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Burnley 2 Newcastle 3

Corners were Burnley 7 Newcastle 4

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie,  Hayden, Longstaff (Diame 85), Almiron (Dummett 80), Perez (Joselu 87), Rondon

Unused Subs:

Darlow,  Ki, Yedlin, Atsu

Crowd: 48,323 (Burnley 1,300)

(Match ratings for all NUFC players after the 2-0 win HERE)

(Must see video as Alan Shearer celebrates that Fabian Schar opening goal! Watch HERE)

(Instant reaction from NUFC fans/writers after the victory – read HERE)

(Read HERE Rafa’s amusing reaction when asked after the 2-0 win what he would say to Mike Ashley)

(Sean Dyche give very honest reaction after the defeat – Read HERE)

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