Rafa Benitez delivers message to Steve Bruce at Newcastle United

Rafa Benite has delivered a message to Steve Bruce – after having another dig at Mike Ashley.
Rafa Benitez.Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez – who took charge of Dalian Yifang after leaving his post as manager at St James’s Park – has written a new new blog post from China.

In the post, Benitez, referring to owner Ashley, says a “leopard can’t change its spots”.

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“There are a couple of things which clearly remind me of Newcastle,” said Benitez. “The first is the hotel we’re staying in, ‘The Castle’, which reminds me daily of the good times I had in Newcastle and of the ongoing kindness and positivity I received there from the fans.

“They appreciated the commitment we had when choosing to stay at Newcastle, and the efforts we made to continue being there, but, unfortunately, as they say in England, ‘a leopard can’t change its spots’.

“A lot of things kept us attached to the club, to the city, and to its fans, but a lack of project as well as unfulfilled promises meant we had to look forwards and follow a different path, as others such as Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan have done whilst continuing to be supported and to support the team.”

Bruce succeeded Benitez at Newcastle last month.

Benitez added: “There’s nothing wrong with thinking about the past, but it’s also important to look to the future.

“For this reason, all I have left to say is that I truly wish the team and Steve Bruce the best for the following season.”