Newcastle United briefing: Rafa Benitez contract update, Peter Beardsley 'disappointed' with Scott Sellars

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

A report today claimed that Newcastle United were ready to open contract talks with Rafa Benitez.

Benitez's deal at St James's Park expires at the end of next season.

And The Times claim that the club is preparing to open talks "in the hope of improving the manager’s relationship with owner Mike Ashley".

Meanwhile, United coach Peter Beardsley had some strong words for his former team-mate Scott Sellars after the club's Premier League 2 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James's Park.

And Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden has given his reaction to Sunday's first-team defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Here's your daily briefing:

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley

Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley

No talks

First things first.

A new deal for Benitez would be welcomed by Newcastle fans.

Unfortunately, there are no plans, right now, to start contract talks with the 57-year-old, who is preparing his players for Sunday's home game against his former club Liverpool.

This position could change later in the season.

Meanwhile Jamie Carragher – who played for Benitez at Liverpool – waded into the debate about Benitez's longer-term future last night.

Carragher told Monday Night Football: "If I'm being totally honest, I don't expect to see Rafa Benitez at Newcastle over a sustained, long period of time.

"I think eventually something will happen with him and the owner (Mike Ashley), and, unfortunately for Newcastle, this isn't going to be a happy and long marriage.

"So enjoy it while he's here."

Good examples

A strong Newcastle Under-23 side was beaten 1-0 by Wolves at St James's Park last night.

Peter Beardsley named Dwight Gayle, Jack Colback and Henri Saivet in his team for the game, which was streamed online by the club.

Coach Beardsley said: "To be fair to the three proper first-teamers as I would call them as in Jack, Henri and Dwight, (they) were really good ... a bit like Jonjo (Shelvey) two weeks ago. Good examples, never stopped.

"Dwight was always coming off after 60 minutes. He was unlucky. He was slightly offside for his goal that got disallowed and was unlucky with another header from a corner.

"He always looks like he's going to be on the shoulder and score goals. It was a big plus for us to have them with us."

Disappointed

Wolves' Under-23s are coached by former United winger Sellars, who played alongside Beardsley during his time at St James's Park.

Beardsley was unhappy with the visitors' time-wasting once they took the lead.

"I say to the kids quite often that while you're winning, the rules are different," Beardsley told NUFC TV. "So they can slow the game down, they can kick the ball in the stand, which they did quite a lot.

"It surprised me and disappointed me with Scott being the man he is, a good footballer. I was really surprised. I understand that they want to win. I get all that, but I think the style of football I associate Scott with, I was really surprised with what I saw."

On the game, Beardsley said: "First half, I thought we weren't great. We huffed and puffed and never really caused them a problem.

"Second half, I thought we played really well and couldn't break them down and score a goal.

"Overall, frustrating more than disappointing. I couldn't fault them for effort. Effort is always a must for this city."

Learning curve

The average age of United's Premier League team is just over 25 –making it the youngest in the division.

And 22-year-old Hayden feels the younger players will have learnt lot from the Brighton defeat.