Rafa Benitez on Ian Cathro, Karl Darlow and Birmingham's visit to Newcastle

Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro

Rafa Benitez spoke to the media today ahead of Newcastle United's home game against Birmingham City.

Benitez spoke about a number of issues ahead of the Championship match.

United's manager reacted to the news that Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett had had the red cards they were shown against Nottingham Forest rescinded and gave an injury and illness update.

Benitez also talked about the departure of Ian Cathro to Heart of Midlothian, Karl Darlow's goalkeeping heroics at the City Ground and the visit of Gary Rowett's fifth-placed side to St James's Park.

Here are Benitez's thoughts on Cathro, Darlow and Birmingham:

Will Newcastle replace Ian Cathro?

“At the moment we have to see where we are.

"We play too many games, so you don’t have too much time to see people.

"We have good people in the staff at the moment, and we will decide if we need another person or not."

Has you seen an improvement in Karl Darlow since joining United?

“Every week he has improved. Every week he is playing with more confidence.

"For me, as a manger, you have 27 players. It doesn't matter who plays. I try to make the right decisions, and sometimes I don’t.

"Karl is doing really well, I was keeping an eye on him and the other goalkeepers with the coach Simon (Smith).

"If it is difficult for them to get back in the team, then it is difficult for me. That’s good for the team."

What do you make of Birmingham this season?

“Birmingham are doing a great job.

"After that we have to play in the FA Cup against them (on January 7).

"We had the same situation with Wolves and Preston. I’s odd that it has happened, but sometimes it does."