What Rafa Benitez said at his pre-match Press conference

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has held his pre-match media conference ahead of Newcaste United's home game against Brentford.

Benitez was asked about Aleksandar Mitrovic's two goals for Serbia during the international break.

And Newcastle's manager also spoke about Rolando Aarons' arrest last weekend over an incident in a nightclub, Jonjo Shelvey's form and the club's opponents.

Here we break down Benitez's answers on a range of subjects:


“Before the international break, we were winning. Maybe people say it is not the right time. Hopefully, we can play at the same level. We have seen players rested and hopefully they will be even better after the break.

“We have to concentrate on the next team. Brentford are doing well and not conceding too many. “


"(Rob) Elliot, (Massadio) Haidara, still some problems with Aarons. (Daryl) Murphy coming back, (Jesus) Gamez too. Not ready

“Everyone's fine. Some tired, some late, but fine. They have trained all together. No problems. You know when you have so many players it is not easy. We keep an eye on them and we are in contact, you just have to keep your fingers crossed and help them recover."


“I watched the reaction and the games, goals. I was pleased for him to score goals and for us it was important.

"Some say that means he will play, but I am just pleased he is scoring goals and playing games. He has come back smiling. He is really focused and it is important for him to keep working hard and he needs to take his chances.

“In terms of his fitness, he has been fine. The match fitness is different.

"You can play different players and they keep fitness week to week if they play games, but it has been more difficult for him because he missed the start. He has scored against QPR and he has settled down and he is more relaxed. I am confident he will build up and do well."


“We can’t say too much because we are waiting to see what happened. I am concentrating on the problem with his foot.”


“He is playing every game, so I am really pleased with him. We were talking about maybe he could play for England, maybe it was too early, but why not when he is playing a swell as he is now.

"He is trying to get to a really good level. I am happy now. He knew before that there was no doubt about his quality. It was very clear and I am happy with that.”


“We have had good results away from home, but the team can still do well at home.

"I am pleased with the support of the fans. Hopefully, they will make a difference. When we go away the support has been amazing.

"When we go at home, we need 52000 who can make a big difference. I think they know. always my message is clear that in am very pleased for them, but can everyone do a little bit more? Maybe they can make that little bit of difference. It is a win-win situation if we have the fans supporting the team."


“Brentford play good counter attack and score goals. They play well, pass the ball and they are a good team. Hopefully, we can attack and be on top of them all the time. I don’t see them playing so deep that they won’t create chances."