Mikel Merino reveals Rafa Benitez's simple message to his Newcastle players
Mikel Merino has revealed Rafa Benitez's simple message to Newcastle United's players.
The club got its Premier League campaign up and running at the third time of asking late last month.
Benitez’s side convincingly beat West Ham United 3-0 at St James’s Park.
Loan signing Merino – who scored a superb goal for Spain’s Under-21s on Friday – impressed in the game.
Benitez had hoped to strengthen his squad in the days after the West ham game, but the club failed to sign another player before last week’s transfer deadline.
Benitez, left frustrated and disappointed by Newcastle’s transfer failures, must now prepare his side for Sunday’s game against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
“Rafa says to us to keep the faith, and we believe in his words,” said Merino, who’s set play for Spain’s Under-21s against Estonia in a European Championship qualifier in Tallinn tonight.
“So what we have to keep doing is keep trying hard, keep playing, and the main thing is to keep doing good things and if we do it then we know good things will come.
“We are with our coach, and we know this is the way to act.”
Asked what qualities United will need in the Premier League, Merino added: “Newcastle needs to be a compact team, we are like a family and we have to keep this mentality because we don’t have the potential that Manchester City, Manchester United or the other big teams have.
“So we have to keep playing, keep running a lot with all the effort, this is not negotiable – and we have to each give 100% out on the pitch.
“Only like this can we have a successful season.”
Merino also reflected on his experience of a win at St James’s Park.
“It’s incredible,” said the 21-year-old. “It’s incredible when you win, because the crowd is really happy and in this game the crowd was with the team, which is something we know we really need.
“We need the crowd to keep going, even when things go wrong, and I think these fans are going to be with us. I hope to keep this feeling going.”