Newcastle United news: Benitez dismisses Championship claim, Shearer answers big question

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United claimed the Christmas No 1 spot with a win over Burton Albion.

And Rafa Benitez and his players have been reacting to the club's 2-1 success at the Pirelli Stadium.

Newcastle lead second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion by a point, and Championship increasingly looks like becoming a two-horse race.

READ MORE : Miles Starforth’s match analysis: Burton Albion 1 Newcastle United 2

But has United's manager discounted a challenge from those teams in the play-off places?

Benitez has also responded to suggestions he has settled on a first-choice starting XI.

This week sees midfielder Jonjo Shelvey – who denies a Football Association misconduct charge – go before an independent commission.

Benitez has spoken about Shelvey's situation.

Meanwhile, Newcastle's Matt Ritchie has talked about a "good omen" for United, and also revealed the training ground trick which paid dividends against Burton.

Benitez's players had a Christmas party at the weekend.

Click here for a first look at what United's squad were wearing on their night out in London.

Finally, Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has given his verdict on Newcastle's promotion hopes - and revealed his thoughts on a return to management.

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