Why Rafa Benitez will do everything to 'deserve the affection' shown to him by Newcastle fans

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he doesn't yet 'deserve' the welcome he has had on Tyneside.

Newcastle United fans quickly embraced Benitez, who succeeded Steve McClaren last week.

Benitez has been tasked with keeping the relegation-threatened club, which takes on Sunderland at St James's Park this afternon in the 154th derby, in the Premier League.

Asked about the welcome he has had in the city and at the club, the 55-year-old said: “I’m really pleased with the response, from the fans and the staff – everyone here.

"What I want to do now is keep working to deserve all this affection.

"I’m someone who likes to be on the pitch, who likes to work hard and analyse things, use technology, but at the same time, I want to win.

"So it is not just that I’m coming and working hard and everybody is happy and then afterwards we’re losing one game and another game and then it’s ‘oh sorry, I didn’t have time’.

"Yeah, I know we don’t have too much time, but I’m trying to do everything because the fans are expecting a lot from me and the players and I will try to do as much as I can.

"My view is always to win. Not just to work hard. But to win.

"Hopefully, we can win and then we’ll be much better next season."