Rafa Benitez has reacted to Mick McCarthy's claim that Newcastle United will go up as champions.
Benitez's side beat Ipswich Town 3-0 at St James's Park on Saturday.
The result saw the club go three points clear at the top of the Championship.
Ipswich manager McCarthy gave his verdict on Newcastle after the game.
"They were better than us, they are better than us and they’ll be champions in my view," said McCarthy.
Benitez was asked about McCarthy's comments ahead of tomorrow night's EFL Cup tie against Preston North End at St James's Park, which will be watched by a crowd of more than 40,000.
"I was talking with him at the end," said Benitez. "I'm really pleased because he has this feeling, but that doesn't change our approach.
"We have to approach every game as if it’s the most difficult and most important."
"We have a lot of respect for Preston. This is a very difficult competition. They are doing well, and are a good team who work hard. It will be a tough game."
Benitez also pledged to name a "strong team" against Preston in the fourth-round tie.
"We are using different players for different games," he said. "It will be a strong team, but different players."
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