Rafa Benitez reveals what Kenedy has admitted to him at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez says he will be “patient” with Kenedy as the winger attempts to find the form that helped Newcastle United stay up last season.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 5:00 am

Kenedy, troubled by injuries and off-the-field issues, has struggled for form this term.

The 22-year-old, re-signed on loan from Chelsea last summer, was disappointing in the weekend’s FA Cup defeat to Watford.

And he could be on the bench for tonight’s Premier League home game against Manchester City.

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Asked about Kenedy’s form, Benitez said: “I don’t need to make excuses – he knows that he’s not playing well.

“He knows that he has to improve. At the same time, he has had a problem with his toenail – he had an operation to fix that, and still it’s a little bit painful for him.

“He can play better – he knows that – and the mood in the training sessions is that sometimes he’s trying to do well, but when he makes mistakes its more difficult for him.

“Each one is different, each one has his own character, and with him we have to be patient and keep pushing him, nicely.

“Hopefully, he can react and do well.”

Kenedy is playing for his future at Chelsea.

Benitez added: “Obviously he knows that, because we’ve been talking about that. It’s obvious.”

Meanwhile, Benitez won’t have any players back from injury for the City game.

United’s manager has also lost striker Joselu to injury.

“The midfielders are still very close but not ready,” said Benitez.

“Others, more or less the same. We have lost Joselu to a bad tackle, twisted his ankle. (Mohamed) Diame, no. (Jonjo) Shelvey, no.”