Newcastle United briefing: Club reveals new crest, Rafa Benitez faces media

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez will speak to the media later today ahead of Leeds United's Good Friday visit to St James's Park.

Newcastle United are second in the Championship with just five games left to play.

And Benitez will give an update on leading scorer Dwight Gayle, who suffered a hamstring injury in last weekend's defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Here is your daily briefing:

Happy anniversary

Newcastle today released an image of the commemorative crest that will adorn the club's jersey's next season.

Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu

The badge has been embellished to mark the club's 125th anniversary season.

A golden adornment has been added to mark the anniversary year.

The club was formed in 1892 when city rivals Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End joined together.

United say their new 2017-18 strip will be launched "soon"

Garry Monk

Garry Monk

Deal or no deal?

Benitez must decide on the future of Christian Atsu at the end of the campaign.

The winger is on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

And United have first option on Atsu if they want to make the move permanent.

Benitez has been coy on the 25-year-old's future up to now.

And Atsu, for his part, is reluctant to look beyond the club's remaining fixtures.

Asked about his future, Atsu said: "I am just focused on the coming games. We have a number of games left and we want to win promotion. I am just focusing on that."

Football focus

Leeds head coach Garry Monk has already held his pre-match media conference.

And Monk has attempted to explain his team's 2-0 defeat to Newcastle at Elland Road in November ahead of the return fixture.

“In the first game we had against Newcastle, it was the first sell-out for a number of years at Elland Road," said Monk.

"Maybe we played the occasion a little bit and didn’t have our full focus on the football.

“We want to go up there and make sure we don’t make the same mistake. I spoke to the players after the first game, and said I felt we hadn’t done ourselves enough justice."

Summer plans

How far advanced are Newcastle's plans for the summer?

That question has been put to Benitez, whose side are two points behind league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion and 10 points clear of third-placed Huddersfield Town.

Find out Benitez's response here.

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