Why Rafa Benitez is wary of Newcastle's visit to Burton

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is wary of Burton Albion ahead of Newcastle United's visit to the Pirelli Stadium.

Benitez's Champsionship-leading side are odds-on favourite to record a third successive win tomorrow in the first meeting between the two clubs.

Burton manager Nigel Clough – whose team are 21st in the table and two points above the relegation zone – labelled the fixture a "mismatch" in his pre-match Press conference earlier this week.

But Benitez has been impressed by Burton, especially at home.

"I remember at the start of the season (watching a Burton game)," said Benitez. "I was impressed with the atmosphere because of the fans and the intensity.

"Watching games now, it is the same. They have very good team spirit, work hard and have good players, which is making a difference. At home they are doing well."

Meanwhile, United manager Benitez celebrated a managerial milestone this week.

Wednesday's 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium was his 1,000th as a professional manager.

"I'm really proud," said the 56-year-old, who was in charge of Real Madrid this time last year. "There as so many games in football, it's so difficult to be in charge for a long way.

"Obviously, we won, and that was the most important thing. Afterwards, I was happy."

Benitez said management is now "more difficult" because of the demands of agents and the distractions of social media.