Rafa Benitez explains why Newcastle were more '˜in danger' than Huddersfield and Brighton this season

Rafa Benitez says it's been harder for Newcastle United in the Premier League than the other two promoted clubs '“ because of the expectation surrounding the club

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 8:00 am
Rafa Benitez

Benitez’s side take on Huddersfield Town at St James’s Park this afternoon.

Huddersfield were promoted along with Newcastle and Brighton and Hove Albion last season.

All three clubs are out of the relegation zone. United are 13th and a point ahead of 15th-placed Huddersfield. Brighton are in 12th place.

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Asked if he felt one of the promotion teams would be relegated at the start of the season, Benitez said: “It’s difficult to say.

“What I can say is that Brighton, Huddersfield and ourselves, we are well-organised teams. The three of us are well-organised, and we know, more or less, what we have to do.

“We have more or less quality in different positions, but the three teams are organised and the atmosphere the teams are experiencing is quite positive, so maybe – I have said it before and I’ll say it again – of these three teams, we were in the most danger.

“Why? Because it’s a top side, massive city, massive stadium, experience in the Premier League, so everybody was expecting we could be here or there (indicating a higher position in the table).

“To stay calm and to keep fighting and to be in the position that we are at the moment, that’s quite positive, but more difficult for us than for them.”

Asked if that was because Newcastle were previously an established top-flight club, Benitez added: “Yes. They had nothing to lose at the beginning.

“Our first game against Huddersfield was the first game at home, and you could see the atmosphere for them.

“I said it is more difficult for us, but you have to give credit to them, because they are both good teams and they know what they want and what they have to do.”