Rafa Benitez answers questions on Newcastle's summer transfer business

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez faced the media this afternoon ahead of Newcastle United's home game against Stoke City.

The manager will be back in the dugout at St James's Park tomorrow after missing last weekend's 1-0 win over Swansea City.

Benitez – who had an operation during the recent international break – was frustrated at that the club failed to sign a single player in the final days of the transfer window.

READ MORE: Revealed: How a phone call between Mike Ashley and Jamaal Lascelles ended Newcastle’s bonus dispute

However, Benitez insisted in his pre-match press conference that he was not dwelling on the events of the summer.

“You know my idea about the transfer window, but at the same time I'm quite positive about what we have to do," said Benitez.

"We are where we are and this is the group of players we have. We are together now and have to give everything.

"I was talking with the players about that during the week. I want to move forward with what we have.

"What can we do? We want to improve every player individually and collectively with the team.

"If we can do that, we will see where we are at the next window. I will not worry too much about what we didn’t do.

"Now we have to improve players and improve the team. It will not be easy.

"I'm against this idea that we can compete for Europe, and before we were going to be relegated. It's a long season, and we have to make sure every week we have players that have improved a bit and a group of players that have improved a lot."

Newcastle are looking to record a third successive win on Saturday for the first time since November 2014.

“It is clear that everybody is now very positive," said Benitez.

"I'm the first one to be positive, but also to understand that it's only the beginning, and we have to carry on with things the same way.

"We have to improve in defence and attack. We still have to do this and that a little bit better."