Rafa Benitez press conference “My message to players, everyone, is we still have a lot of work to do”
Rafa Benitez has been talking ahead of the West Ham match.
The Newcastle boss meeting the media on Friday lunchtime.
Rafa confirmed that Ciaran Clark and Rob Elliot are still out injured.
He also stated that Jonjo Shelvey will be missing.
The midfielder having knocked on his door and asked to play for the reserves at Fulham tonight.
Rafa Benitez was full of praise for Sean Longstaff after his nomination for PL player of the month.
Whilst on the subject of his own position, it was the usual.
The Newcastle boss saying that it is simply all about getting points on the board and then once safety is reached, his future can be discussed.
Rafa Benitez pre-West Ham press conference:
“I understand why they (Newcastle fans) want to know (about what will happen in the summer).
“But they know that my plan is that the team is focused on football, we can get the results then we can talk about anything.
“He (Sean Longstaff) has had to play in the position of a senior player. He played against Liverpool and Chelsea and he was doing well.
“You have to give a lot of credit to the lad and the way he is so focussed and humble, and the way he has continued working.
“West Ham have very difficult players – Felipe Anderson, Arnautović, Chicharito – so they will be very dangerous.
“It will be a tough game and we have to concentrate and stay focussed. We can’t underestimate the opposition.
“My message to the players, and everyone, is that we still have a lot of work to do.
“We have to approach every game with the same idea we had from day one.
“The next game is the most important and if we can get to 38 or 40 points, we can enjoy it a bit more if possible.”
Rafa Benitez talking to BBC Newcastle:
“I’m trying to send the same message I’ve sent from the beginning: one game at a time, every game is crucial for us – like a final.
“We have plenty of work to do yet.
“We have to carry on with the same approach and not make the mistake of underestimating anyone.
“Shelvey told me he wanted to play with the under-23s to improve his match-fitness.
“I think that’s very positive.
“We have the same situation: Clark and Elliot not available, and the others – apart from Jonjo – all available.
“The names nominated alongside him (Sean Longstaff) are quite good (for the February Premier League player of the month)!
“But that means he has to get more credit. A young player… doing so well, especially in difficult games. He deserves, for me – obviously – to win the award.”
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