Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Newcastle boss Benitez hands stern warning to rivals

Newcastle boss Benitez hands stern warning to rivals

Chris Smalling drew the ire of Manchester United fans on Sunday after somehow not giving away a "senseless" penalty during the first half against Newcastle United.

"Clark is training - he had a knee problem", said Benitez. You can do a really good job, but still you can lose games 1-0, 2-0 because of the quality of the players that they have.

"He's fine", Benitez replied when asked if Kenedy was fit to play a full 90 minutes against Manchester United this weekend.

"I lost and I drew a few times [at Newcastle], I hope the result is different but I know the characteristics of the game will not be hard".

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes he deserves an award for being the best-behaved boss.

"We are thinking "great", and then we have this play or situation and we make a mistake and after we make a great save or something".

"I like the feeling of going to Mr [Sir Bobby] Robson's home, I like the Geordies and the stadium but I have lost and drawn a few times there". That is a good thing.

"They can't look at a player and say this guy is very talented so I have to protect him".

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

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

Manchester United are in second place in the Premier League table but 13 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City. To let the top players play with freedom?

They are only one point better off than at this stage in the 2015-16 season, which ended in relegation.

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. Their season's tally of 15 clean sheets is the most in the division.

Last month's defeat to Tottenham is the only blemish on United's 2018 to date, with no goals conceded in their other six league and cup games so far this year, all of which have been won.

The Special One is trying to become the Perfect One as Jose Mourinho looks to become the Premier League's best behaved boss.

"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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