Why Rafa Benitez is taking a close look at Rolando Aarons and Jamie Sterry in Newcastle's pre-season

Rolando Aarons
Rolando Aarons

Rafa Benitez says he's been testing players in Newcastle United's pre-season friendlies.

The club has played two warm-up games so far this month.

Newcastle came from behind to draw 2-2 against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday night.

That fixture followed a 6-0 victory over Bohemian in Dublin last weekend.

Benitez's side play a third fixture against Belgian club Sporting Lokeren tomorrow.

And United's manager – who has fielded fringe players Rolando Aarons and Jamie Sterry in both games – is keen to assess all his options ahead of the new Championship season.

"The good thing is that in the games so far, we have been able to give a chance to everyone," said Benitez.

"We needed to do that, because we need to know we have players that can do the job if we have to change one or two players.

"They need to know what they have to do and how they have to play. Games like the one at Doncaster are important, and hopefully once we have analysed a few things, we can change and make improvements."

Winger Aarons and defender Sterry, both 20, impress are hoping for more time on the pitch at Lokeren's 9,560-capacity Daknamstadion.

Newcastle played the team in the Intertoto Cup in the 2001-02 season.