Rafa Benitez reveals the simple way he approaches team selection at Newcastle

Newcastle United's Georginio Wijnaldum.
Newcastle United's Georginio Wijnaldum.

Rafa Benitez won’t be afraid to drop more big names after leaving Georginio Wijnaldum out of his Newcastle United starting XI.

Wijnaldum was dropped for Tuesday night’s home game against Manchester City.

The £14.5million midfielder joined big-money signings Jonjo Shelvey and Aleksandar Mitrovic on the bench.

Wijnaldum came on and had a chance to claim all three points for Newcastle, but he was denied his first goal since January.

The 25-year-old is now waiting to discover if he will be recalled against Liverpool.

United manager Benitez – whose second-bottom side take on Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow – is ready to make more bold selection calls in the final four games of the season.

I am just thinking about the best team for each game. The selection is not the main thing, it is what the players do on the pitch.

Rafa Benitez

Asked about his decision to drop Wijnaldum, Benitez said: “I am just thinking about the best team for each game.

“I thought it could be good. The selection is not the main thing, it is what the players do on the pitch.

“The selection can be good, but if something is wrong, you will say that it is wrong.

“I think that the team was working as a team.

“I said before to all the players that the last game (against Swansea), the players that started the game and the players that came from the bench, gave everything.

“I think they understand that they have to work as a team.”

Benitez – whose side are two points adrift of safety – feels his team, which has lost its last 10 away games, has come a long way in a short space of time.

“We are short of time, but you can see things that are improving,” he told BBC Radio Newcastle. “Hopefully, we can see every game things that can make a difference.”