Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Worst Ever Start at Home - but Benitez Is Not Worried; BOSS PLAYS DOWN TOON'S RESULTS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Worst Ever Start at Home - but Benitez Is Not Worried; BOSS PLAYS DOWN TOON'S RESULTS

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Newcastle writer lee.ryder@reachplc.com @lee_ryder

RAFA Benitez is refusing to hit the panic button at Newcastle United - despite their worst start to a home campaign in the club's history.

The Magpies no longer have the excuse of coming up against the top six sides in the Premier League like they did in the opening handful of fixtures and they are still to post their first win after games with Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

A tough trip to Manchester United comes next before slightly less daunting games with Brighton and Southampton.

Newcastle had never lost their first four home games in a row before Saturday but when asked if it was time to become concerned Benitez said: "No.

"I said to my players next month and December will be crucial if you see the teams we will play against.

"The only thing is we have to be mentally ready and we have to keep going, keep I said to next December crucial if the teams play Rafa working hard because we cannot forget we have played against some of the top sides in the league and against good teams."

Should Newcastle lose at Old Trafford they will have just 30 games to muster 38 points to hit the magic 40 tally which usually ensures survival.

Benitez added: "It is different. Last year we knew it could be very difficult but in the end we did so well people forgot we needed to carry on improving things and we did not do it.

my players month and will be you see we will against Benitez "Now we have to be sure we keep the team working hard and all together and if we do that, as I always say, we will have more chances to pick up results."

Benitez was without his main striker Salomon Rondon on Saturday, Joselu again having a bad day in the office. The Toon boss said: "I think today again we can talk about players who were not there and then the timing of things on the pitch. …

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