Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez Is Up for the Cup - but Won't Take Any Risks; United Striker Has His Eye on THETIGERS Benitez Is Keen for Cup Run to Continue

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez Is Up for the Cup - but Won't Take Any Risks; United Striker Has His Eye on THETIGERS Benitez Is Keen for Cup Run to Continue

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports writer chris.waugh@trinitymirror.com

RAFA Benitez insists he will "try to win a trophy" with Newcastle United this season - but will not risk the welfare of his players in pursuit of an EFL Cup semi-final spot.

The Magpies travel to the KCOM Stadium tonight to take on Hull City in the quarter-final of the League Cup, knowing victory would see them progress into the final four of a cup competition for the first time in the Mike Ashley era.

Despite the fact Newcastle currently find themselves in the second tier of English football, Benitez believes it is possible for the Magpies to lift a trophy this term.

However, he will not gamble with the fitness of his players and risk losing them for an extended period ahead of what will be a hectic festive schedule.

For that reason, Jack Colback will not be risked on Humberside.

Benitez said: "I will try and manage every game and see where we are.

"If we go to the semi-final or progress in the FA Cup then it depends on how far you go as to how you decide if you have a chance to win a trophy.

"If we have a chance to win a trophy I will try to win a trophy. That is 100% sure.

"However, I will not risk anyone just with this idea. I want to do well in every game."

Since Ashley bought Newcastle in 2007, the cup competitions have often been treated as an unwelcome distraction by the club.

Yet Benitez is determined to try Turn to Page 50 FROM BACK PAGE and win every game he possibly can as Magpies boss - regardless of which competition it is in.

"You cannot change the past," Benitez replied when asked if it surprised him a club the size of Newcastle had failed to reach a cup semi-final since 2005.

"When you talk about football in England at this level, other sides are so strong this can happen.

"We have an opportunity now to do well.

"It is so difficult, you have to be sure you go there and give everything and then you will see how the game goes.

"In Europe, clubs have the same feeling - the top sides are so strong normally you will think: 'I cannot win the cup. …

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