Rafa Benitez reveals why he could make up to FIVE changes to his Newcastle side against Tottenham
Rafa Benitez will make more changes to his Newcastle United side at Wembley '“ as he bids to regain lost momentum.
The club has lost its last three Premier League games.
Newcastle take on Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow night in their penultimate game of the season.
Benitez made two changes for the weekend’s game against Watford, which United lost 2-1.
Newcastle’s manager brought Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo into his starting XI at Vicarage Road.
However, United trailed 2-0 at the break after an error-strewn first-half performance.
A 55th-minute goal from Ayoze Perez sparked a second-half comeback from Newcastle.
Benitez plans to freshen up his team for the club’s first visit to the rebuilt Wembley Stadium.
“We will try to change players to see if we can have fresh legs, but we tried it at Watford and it didn’t work,” said Benitez.
“We tried to change the system at Watford too. We cannot blame anyone in particular for why we were bad against Watford, because everyone was bad, but in the second half, everyone was much better.
“We have to see how the players are after the next few days, see if we have any knocks or problems, and then decide if we can play with the same team or if we have to change three, four or five players, or whatever.”
Tottenham are fourth in the Premier League.
“We will be playing against a very good team and we have to be sure that we put a strong team on the pitch,” added Benitez.”
United secured their Premier League status last month with a 2-1 home win over Arsenal.
However, the club hasn’t taken a point since that game.
“We don’t have any momentum now,” said Benitez.
“After three weeks, we are making too many mistakes.
“Even if you put in effort, still it’s not enough if you make mistakes.
“When we needed to win, everybody was really, really focused, people didn’t make mistakes and they knew they had to run, do this and do that.
“Now we are running, but we are late. We are making mistakes, and we’re making far too many because maybe we do not have the same concentration levels we had before.”
Meanwhile, Perez, Newcastle’s leading scorer with eight goals in all competitions, admitted that the team’s first-half performance at Watford “wasn’t good enough”.
“We cannot perform as we did in the first half,” said the forward.
“We have to realise that we have to keep playing as we have done until the end.
“The first half was not good enough. “We cannot concede two, and Martin (Dubravka) made a great save, or it could have been 3-0 at the half.
“That means we are doing the wrong things.”