Jose Mourinho offers surprising backing to Newcastle boss Benitez

Jose Mourinho offers surprising backing to Newcastle boss Benitez

Jose Mourinho offers surprising backing to Newcastle boss Benitez

"He has done that and he has always said, when there has been negative things in the papers, "I want to stay here, I want to fight back into the side".

"There are so many awards - performance of the week, manager of the month and this and that - they should give one (to) the guy that behaves best on the touchline and it should be the fourth official to vote".

"Because I know Shaw since he arrived in the Premier League with Southampton and I know his potential, his quality". Slimani is excellent and will do very good things at Newcastle. They are two players I know very well and they can really improve their team.

During his time at the King Power stadium, Slimani played under three different managers in Claudio Ranieri, Craig Shakespeare and Claude Puel and is already clearly impressed by his new boss Rafael Benitez. I can remember many of them, some of the best ones in the country and Benitez is another example.

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Newcastle have drawn their last 3 home matches (Premier League).

Manchester United were 4-1 winners against the Magpies back in November as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba made their respective comebacks from injury problems.

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Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist and Ryan Wilson come in for Jon Welsh, Ben Toolis and Cornell du Preez in the forward pack. We're just trying to get on with it. "They do though have some fantastic players and we know how hard a task it will be".

Newcastle go into the game on the back of 1-1 draws against Crystal Palace and Burnley.

Mourinho's men are second - 16 points behind Manchester City - ahead of their trip to Newcastle. To let the top players play with freedom? In fact, ten teams in the bottom half are all so tightly packed that every point between now and the end of the season is unimaginably crucial for survival.

Darlow has started United's last seven Premier League games, but he now faces competition from Dubravka and fit-again Elliot, who has recovered from a recent injury.

United have lost just once in 10 top-flight outings (W6, D3). However, that defeat came in their last away game at Tottenham.

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Slimani is confident his new side can turn the tide by extending Mourinho's six-game winless run in the league on Tyneside.

"We know where we are in the league, so all the players are focused, working hard and concentrating on this game".

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