Ciaran Clark gives his view on Rafa Benitez’s rotation policy at Newcastle

Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark
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Ciaran Clark says Newcastle United’s players have “bought into” Rafa Benitez’s rotation policy.

Benitez, mindful of the physical demands of a 46-game Championship season, has repeatedly changed a winning team this season in an attempt to manage the workload of his players.

I think all the lads have bought into it. That’s what the manager does. There’s a lot of competition for places.

Ciaran Clark

The club’s manager made three changes to the side which beat Queens Park Rangers 6-0 a week ago.

Newcastle went on to lose 2-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

There will be more changes for tonight’s third-round EFL Cup tie against Wolves at St James’s Park.

Clark, signed from Aston Villa in the summer, said: “I think all the lads have bought into it.

“That’s what the manager does. There’s a lot of competition for places.

“I think we all know that if you haven’t been picked, it’s probably not for the reason you haven’t done well, it’s probably for the reason to get fresh legs in there and keep you fresh for the next game.

“In the long term, that will help us in our bid for promotion.

“It’s good to have a big squad and to have quality players fighting for spots in the team.

“Everyone fully understands it.”

Clark opened his account in front of United’s 3,005-strong following at Loftus Road.

The 26-year-old defender said: “It was nice to get the goal. First of all, as a defender, you try to make sure you keep goals out and keep clean sheets, but it’s always nice when you get on the end of one.

“I think half the squad scored that night! It was fantastic to get on scoresheet, but the result was the most important thing.

“It was a fantastic performance from the lads. We need to try concentrate on the games coming up.”

Clark – who returns to Villa Park with Newcastle on Saturday – is now focused on the EFL Cup.

“For the players, supporters and the staff, it’s always nice, and builds confidence, if you can get a good cup run going,” said Clark.