Rafa Benitez reveals his approach to Newcastle's EFL Cup quarter-final against Hull

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he's up for the cup at Newcastle United – but he will NOT take any risks with his players.

Benitez's side, beaten in the Championship by Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, take on Hull City in an EFL Cup quarter-final at the KCOM Stadium tomorrow night.

Newcastle's manager, set to recall Dwight Gayle and Jamaal Lascelles to his starting XI, is hopeful his team can reach a first cup semi-final since 2005.

“I'm pragmatic," said Benitez. "I approach the game with the same attitude.

"They are an opportunity to progress. I know how hard it is to win something with the level of the teams in the league. But you know the squad I have got, so I will not risk players if I don’t think it is necessary.

"It is a motivation for us to play against a Premier League team. They are at home so they have a bit of an advantage.

"We need to go and show our levels and try to reach the semi-final.

"A lot of games during the season we know we have to try to win every game. It’s not normal to do that even if people expect that. You have to do well and make sure we try to win."

Benitez was frustrated that United were only allocated 2,474 tickets for the game.

“I would like to see our fans as many as we can have there," he said. "But I can’t control the policy they decide.

"Football now, with a lot of TV, has to be more for the fans going to the stadium, enjoying it and creating an atmosphere that will be good for the game. But I cannot change that."