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.

Friday, 9th February 2018, 3:05 pm
Updated Friday, 9th February 2018, 4:30 pm
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."

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."