Jose Mourinho explains his affection for St James's Park and Newcastle fans

Jose Mourinho has backed long-time rival Rafa Benitez to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Jose MourinhoJose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Benitez's side take on Manchester United at St James's Park on Sunday.

Mourinho failed to guide Chelsea to a Premier League win at the stadium in six attempts.

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And Man United's manager – who worked under the late Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona – has spoken about his experiences at St James's Park.

"I think it's the only stadium," said Mourinho. "Also Huddersfield, but I played there only once.

"I think it is difficult (at Newcastle), honestly. I always felt beautiful matches, but difficult matches.

"I like to go there, I like the feeling of going to Mr Robson's home. I like the stadium. I like the atmosphere.

"They are a good, enthusiastic crowd, I like the Geordies."

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Newcastle manager Benitez signed Islam Slimani, Kenedy and Martin Dubravka in last month's transfer window.

Mourinho said: "They have a good team and I think they had a good transfer window getting Kenedy and Slimani, two players I know very well, who can really improve the team.

"Benitez knows how to get points, so I think it's going to be difficult.

"If you ask me if I think Newcastle will be in the Championship next season, I say 'no way'.

"I think they know how to get the points to stay in the division."