The key points from Benitez’s pre-Man Utd press conference – Rafa talks injuries, takeovers & Lee Charnley

Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the media today in his weekly pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Old Trafford.

Here are some of the key points to take from Rafa’s pre-match presser today:

  • Rafa has confirmed that Christian Atsu and Jamaal Lascelles are both OUT of tomorrow’s game. The skipper has failed to recover from an ankle problem sustained against Bournemouth, whilst Atsu could be out for several weeks with a thigh injury.
  • The gaffer also stated that this game will come too soon for Mikel Merino and Paul Dummett. Both are stepping up their recovery from injuries and are training again however, which is a positive sign for the weeks ahead.
  • Rafa admits that whilst injuries to first-team players is ‘bad news’, he insists the players that will play instead ‘will do well’.
  • In response to our recent result he said: “We are a newly-promoted club that needs to settle down in the Premier League. To lose games is part of the process and hopefully we can stop that this weekend.”
  • He admits that he’s in touch with Lee Charnley “two or three times a week”, but has no update on a takeover and insists on his wish to focus on football.
  • Benitez gave an emphatic response when asked about a takeover saying: “The information I have is that we will play tomorrow at Man Utd. We have to concentrate on our football, that is it.”.
  • Rafa admits Mourinho is a good manager, but says his concern is not with him, but the talented player in his team.
  • Benitez has not only identified Lukaku as a threat tomorrow, but has also admitted to being wary of Mata, Rashford, Martial, stating Mkhitaryan is an ‘amazing player’ too.

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About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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