Rafa Benitez’s No 2 reveals why it’s a ‘family’ affair at Newcastle

Skipper Jamaal Lascelles is Rafa Benitez's leader on the pitch
Skipper Jamaal Lascelles is Rafa Benitez's leader on the pitch

Francisco de Miguel Moreno says it’s a “family” affair at Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez could miss tomorrow’s game against Swansea City as he recovers from surgery.

However, fitness coach De Miguel believes the dressing room has enough leaders to cope with his absence.

“He (Benitez) is the one in charge,” said De Miguel, who took yesterday’s pre-match press conference.

“Everyone listens to him. In that case, we do not plan anything.

“Normally, the captain (Jamaal Lascelles) is the one who is talking to the players, is pushing a little bit.

Normally, the captain is the one who is talking to the players, is pushing a little bit. But there are a lot of other players who do.

Francisco de Miguel Moreno

“But there are a lot of other players who do.

“We are like a family, honestly.

“Sometimes one of them speaks, sometimes two.

“As soon as we realise we have to be together, any information is good.”

De Moreno and his colleagues have been preparing the team on Tyneside for the game at the Liberty Stadium.

Benitez, meanwhile, has been working from his family home on Merseyside.

“Our analyst is preparing clips of the opponents and sending the clips to him,” said De Miguel.

“He has our opinion also and our analysis. So we have been doing exactly the same.

“He’s watching for their strengths and weaknesses.”

If Benitez does not make the game, then De Miguel and the rest of the club’s coaching team will decide on any tactical changes or substitutions during the televised game.

“We cannot be asking him, so we will decide,” said De Miguel.

“Normally substitutions are something we consider together. It will be the same, just without him.

“Also, we know him well, and more or less (know) what he thinks when someone is on their game and is not. It won’t be difficult.”

Asked if he wants to manage in the future, De Miguel said: “Not really. It has never been in my plans. I’m happy with my position. I think it’s easier. I’m not ambitious, I don’t want to be a manager.”