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Rafa Benitez insists ‘I trust him 100 per cent’ after Newcastle United player criticised

2 months ago
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Rafa Benitez has been quizzed about two of his players ahead of Monday’s game at Molineux.

One of them certain to start whilst a major surprise if the other make it into the team.

Martin Dubravka and Kenedy arrived within days of each other in January 2018.

Between them, they transformed that Newcastle team.

The keeper improving things immeasurably at the back, whilst the Chelsea loan signing provided the flair and threat from somebody running at the opposition, that was totally lacking up to that point.

However, whilst Martin Dubravka has continued very much on that same trajectory, Kenedy’s form has dropped off a cliff.

Dubravka has been an ever present ever since Newcastle beat Man Utd 1-0 in his first match last February.

Garth Crooks was loudest of the lunatic fringe who chose to go overboard about the goal conceded last Saturday at Wembley:

“Without Son in the side, Spurs looked like they were running out of gas.

“Yes, his goal against Newcastle was fortuitous and Martin Dubravka should hang his head in shame.

Rafa Benitez dismissing the criticism out of hand, declaring ‘I trust him 100 per cent.’

It is a different case with Kenedy though, Rafa having previously said that they are working behind the scenes to try and coax Kenedy back into form.

The Brazilian hasn’t started a Premier League game for seven weeks and he has even been left out of the matchday squad on occasion.

To have any chance of a return to the starting eleven, Kenedy surely has to first impress in sub appearances and he hasn’t really done that on the three occasions since that last PL start at Anfield on Boxing Day.

On the positive side, as Rafa says, at least we know the talent is there with Kenedy…’We have seen here how good he is and he has to go back to his level.’

Miguel Almiron will hopefully help provide the spark that has been missing this season but it would be a huge help to him and the rest of the team, if Kenedy could do the same again as well.

Rafa Benitez asked if he’d had to ‘sit down’ with Martin Dubravka after the late Spurs winner – as per Sky Sports:

“No. I was talking with him but I don’t need to sit down with him and talk too much about that.

“He is a keeper and, like a defender, they know if they make a mistake, everybody will talk about that.

“But he’s okay.

“He is a good professional, he’s focused, he’s training really well and I trust him 100 per cent.’

As for Kenedy, Rafa Benitez said:

“Everybody could see his potential, so this year, he has to reach his level again and he’s working trying to do that.

“We will see if we can give him his chance.

“Each year is different.

“At the beginning, he was taking some time to settle down here again, they had another baby, so it was taking some time and now he has to start again.

“He has the potential, we have seen that, so it is not someone telling you.

“We have seen here how good he is and he has to go back to his level.”

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