Rafa Benitez sees shuffling the Newcastle United pack as a necessity in a 46-match Championship season

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
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Boss Rafa Benitez has urged Newcastle United fans to have faith in his selection policy.

The gaffer has taken light criticism from some sections of the United fanbase for his insistence of switching the team around from game to game.

But, in a 46-match Championship season, Benitez sees this as necessity.

And he is urging fans to be patient with his selection. He says in a lengthy season, his selection isn’t always about the present. He’s playing the long game, too.

The Spaniard explains: “I try to do things in a normal way. In try to be professional and make the right decisions. But you cannot keep everyone happy in football.

“If I pick one player, some fans will ask why I didn’t pick a different one instead. That is normal. I can accept that.

“I can understand why fans are saying, ‘Why he doesn’t he pick this one or that one’, but as well as concentrating on the present, we are also having half an eye on the future.

“The present is the next game, Brentford, and we are already looking their team and their squad and trying to analyse what we think they will do.”

While the visit of Brentford to St James is of immediate concern to Benitez he revealed he already has one eye on the January transfer window.

Twelve players came through the doors in the summer, but that doesn’t mean Benitez is done in the market.

He said: “The fans have to be confident that we are doing our jobs.

“But at the same time, we are also thinking about January, and even the season after that.

“But at the same time, we cannot lose our focus and our focus has to be the next game.

“We are concentrating on the present, but at the same time, having an eye on the future.

“We are really football-orientated in terms of trying to improve things on the pitch, and I don’t know if that has always been the same (in the past).

“I had a meeting with Lee Charnley this week where we were talking about the academy, scouting and people within the staff. “We are trying to manage the football club in a way that everybody is expecting. I think the fans are happy with that, but I am also happy if they want to criticise the manager for the way he picks the team.”