Tuesday 17 September 2019

Benitez hoping for miracle

Newcastle 0 Fulham 0

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez. Photo: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

Damian Spellman

Rafael Benitez has admitted it will be "another miracle" if Newcastle manage to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

The Spaniard guided the club into 10th place at the end of the last campaign - an achievement he described at the time as a miracle - but after another summer of limited investment while those around them spent heavily, he believes the degree of difficulty has increased this time around.

Speaking after seeing his team fail to muster a single shot on target in a desperate draw with bottom-of-the-table Fulham, Benitez was philosophical.

"I'm not happy with a point, but I'm happy because we didn't lose and we have four points from the last two games," he said.

"I want to win every game. The problem is that you have to be realistic and if you cannot win, be sure you don't lose these kind of games.

"It's not easy for anyone here. I was talking last week with people at Huddersfield and we talked about the pressure, a big city, a big club, what it means for us, what it means for them and how you manage this situation.

"I think our fans know. Obviously during the game, they want the best for the team and they are expecting something more, but I am sure after a couple of days, they will say, 'OK, we have to keep supporting the team because it's what we have and these players are giving everything'.

"But still, we have to realise that we will be in the bottom half of the table during the whole season because it's like that, and if we do well and we can higher, it will be another miracle."

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