According to the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez has told his players he won’t accept anything less than ‘100% effort’ ahead of Saturday’s crucial clash with Liverpool – telling them he wants to sign off the season with a win.
It had been claimed by some that Rafa would ‘roll out the red carpet’ ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Tyneside, suggesting he’d not like to spoil his old side’s chances of a league title, however it seems this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here’s what Lee Ryder’s had to say in his latest piece for the Chronicle, revealing what Rafa’s told his players ahead of the game:
‘Rafa Benitez has told his Newcastle United players he wants full focus this week as his team prepare to take on title contenders Liverpool.
‘The Magpies go into a fixture that could even be Benitez’s last game in charge at St James’ Park IF he does not agree a new contract with the club.
‘However, Benitez is eager to sign off United’s home campaign with a victory and won’t take anything less than 100% effort from his players.’
Not only is he clearly keen to end the season on a high at St James’ Park, it can’t be forgotten that this *might* be his home game as manager of Newcastle United.
It’s going to be extremely tough on Saturday, but what an occasion it could be, with a night match against Liverpool on a bank holiday weekend bound to whip up a brilliant atmosphere.