Newcastle United news: Benitez lifts lid on his power, 'no regrets' insists midfield ace, Elliot's Ireland 'honour'

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has lifted the lid on the power he holds at the struggling Premier League club.

Benitez – who, unlike Steve McClaren, was appointed as manager, and not head coach – says his backroom team have been "surprised" by the authority he has at St James’s Park.

Managing director Lee Charnley has given Benitez everything he has asked for so far at second-bottom United.

Asked if there had been any "resistance" to his changes and methods at the club, Benitez said: "No, the support from the club, from the staff, from the players, from the fans – everyone – has been fantastic."

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Meanwhile, Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum insists he has no regrets about joining Newcastle United - despite their slump to the bottom of the Premier League.

Wijnaldum was United's biggest summer signing, joining the Magpies in a £14.5million deal from PSV Eindhoven.

He said: "I knew it was difficult because they [Newcastle United] had a tough season last year but I made the choice with full confidence and I still do not regret it."

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And finally, in-form Magpies stopper Rob Elliot will tonight get his chance to cement his place in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad.

Elliot came into the side in October when No 1 Tim Krul suffered a season-ending injury and the 29-year-old has been superb during Krul’s enforced absence.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill fielded West Ham United’s Darren Randolph in Friday’s 1-0 win over Switzerland.

O'Neill will take a look at Elliot, capped three times by Ireland, in tonight’s game against Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

"It’s a huge honour to play for Ireland," said Elliot, whose last cap came in September 2014.