The key points from Benitez’s pre-Chelsea press conference – Rafa talks injuries, Mitro & defence issues

Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the media today in for his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Stamford Bridge.

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

  • Rafa has confirmed that Christian AtsuJamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett are all out once again, but revealed that the first-team trio are all ‘close’ to returning –  suggesting they could be back for Leicester next week?
  • The gaffer also said he very pleased with the competition with strikers when asked about Aleksandar Mitrovic – admitting that everyone who came on did well at West Brom.
  • Rafa then touched on our defensive issues, stating “The team will improve defensively, but they will need time. The only way is to work harder and better.”
  • Benitez refused to say who he will be starting in goals tomorrow, however says that Rob Elliot has been ‘training well’, stating that this competition with Darlow is ‘crucial’ for us.
  • Rafa believes there were ‘a lot of positives’ from Tuesday’s draw and admits their ‘confidence is high’, feeling we showed superb ‘character’ and ‘togetherness’ to come back from 2-0 down.
  • He says he does not want to see anyone play with ‘fear’ in tomorrow’s game – stating that the player must see it as a ‘challenge’ instead, believing it is possible to take 3 points tomorrow.
  • Rafa then addressed his relationship with the Chelsea fans from his stint at the club, admitting that most fans are fine, but any dislike only comes from Chelsea’s rivalry with former club Liverpool.



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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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