Rafa Benitez reveals how Newcastle United's 'forward thinking' has transformed this key metric

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United’s injury record is up there with the best in the Premier League.

Benitez set out to reduce the number of players sidelined because of injuries when he took charge of the club three years ago.

And United’s manager says the club was in the top three in the division in terms of days lost to injuries this season.

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“I remember the team, for two years in a row, were at the top for injuries in Premier League,” said Benitez.

“But, after, we were the best team in the Championship in terms of injuries. And we have been second, first, third in the Premier League this year.

Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez.

“When you have a cruciate ligament injury, you know it’s a long-term injury. But we don’t have too many, and that’s because the communication between everyone and the effort they put in on that.

“I’m sure a lot of managers do similar things. But it’s true we have a lot of things under control.

“And the relationship between my coaching staff, the new coaching staff, the people who were here before, the medical staff – it’s a very good relationship. We talk all the time.”

Benitez and his staff brought with them experience of sports science in Spain, Italy – and elsewhere.

Miguel Almiron after suffering a hamstring injury.

Miguel Almiron after suffering a hamstring injury.

“I come from Spain,” said Benitez. “We went to Italy. So we have seen things in a different way and a different level.

“We have been around, travelling, going to America and everywhere. Every time we’re travelling, we learn something from someone.

“We’re open-minded and forward thinking.”