Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez: Attitude Crucial to Fitting in; United on Hunt for Mental Strength

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Benitez: Attitude Crucial to Fitting in; United on Hunt for Mental Strength

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

RAFA Benitez insists a positive attitude is the most important characteristic in determining whether a player is good enough to make the transition from the Championship to the Premier League. Newcastle United signed six players during the summer window, but Benitez had hoped to recruit a far greater number in order to ensure his squad was top-flight ready.

Instead, he was forced to make a judgement on the crop of players he already had at his disposal and decide which of them could cut it in the Premier League.

The likes of Jamaal Lascelles, Isaac Hayden and Christian Atsu have made the transition seamlessly, and Benitez insists their willingness to learn and ability to understand the game have been crucial to their success.

"Quality is not just that they can pass, they can put the ball in the top corner or things like that.

"It's about whether they can understand the game, and whether they have the margin to improve," Benitez replied when asked how he determines whether he believes a player can make the step up from the second tier to the top flight.

"Some players you can see that, maybe, they can improve a lot, and others who you think are close to their maximum level. It's something you have to consider.

"When we signed Hayden, he is a young player so he can improve.

"How much? We don't yet know. It depends on him too - on how much he wants to learn, if he listens to you and pays attention to details in the training sessions. You have to feel that they want to.

"For example Atsu. Some people were saying at the beginning: 'Oh Atsu, why will we keep Atsu?' "But he is very cheap now, when you see the market he is very cheap, and you can see that he can improve.

"Can he be at the level that we need for him to do 'this' or 'that'? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.