Rafa Benitez gives update on Newcastle's plans for a friendly

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is yet to make a final decision on a late-season friendly for Newcastle United.

Benitez's side have a 21-day gap in their fixture list after Saturday's home game against Southampton because of an international break and Tottenham Hotspur's progress in the FA Cup.

United's manager wants to play a game either at home or abroad, but only against the "right team".

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Speaking after last night's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, Benitez said: "We're analysing a friendly, but we haven’t made a decision.

"It’s not easy to find the right teams. You need a team that can at least give you a match with the fitness levels where they need to be."

National League side Hartlepool United have asked Newcastle about the possibility of playing a game.

United had a three-week break break between fixtures two years ago.

Then-manager Steve McClaren took his team to Spain to play Lillestrom at La Manga.

Newcastle won the game 2-1 thanks to goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Rolando Aarons.

United, however, went on to lose their two subsequent Premier League games and McClaren was sacked early the following month.