Rafa Benitez reveals the January transfer boost that would '˜lift' his Newcastle side

Rafa Benitez saw his Newcastle United side drop into the relegation zone '“ then insisted that January signings would 'lift' the team.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 7:12 am
Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium has left the club 18th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s game against West Ham United.

Benitez is keen to sign at least two players in next months transfer window to strengthen his squad for the second half of the season.

“We are where we are,” said Benitez, who had a transfer meeting with managing director Lee Charnley last week.

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“We have to manage the situation the best way possible, and the best way possible for me is to stay calm, keep working hard and try to get a result.

“If we get to January, and we can add some players to give a lift to the rest of the team, we have to do it.

“We knew we were missing in some positions, and we have seen over the whole season what has happened.

“In some positions, we need competition. We have to do it.”

Benitez had set a 20-point target for the first half of the season but the team will fall short of that after a run of just one point from the last 27 on offer.

With one game to go until the halfway point, Newcastle have accumulated 15 points.

“I wanted to get to 20 points,” said Benitez.

“I think it’ll be difficult if we don’t start winning games, but still I have confidence that we can do it.

“If we can’t do that, I’m still sure that if the team continue working like (against Arsenal).

“There will be games that we can win, and that will give us a lift in terms of confidence.

“That will make it is easier to approach games, but we have to keep the same team spirit.”

Benitez is still waiting to find out what transfer budget he will have to work with in January. The situation is complicated by Mike Ashley’s ongoing bid to sell the club to PCP Capital Partners and Amanda Staveley.