English Premiership

Benitez: Newcastle already in relegation battle

Rafael Benitez (TEAMtalk)
Rafael Benitez (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - Rafael Benitez has warned that Newcastle United are already in a relegation battle after a lean of summer of signings at St James’s Park.

After finishing 10th in the table in their first year back in the Premier League last season, Benitez has been frustrated by the lack of finances available to boost his squad.

Newcastle have agreed a permanent deal for goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, while Chelsea winger Kenedy has re-joined the Magpies on loan.

But without significant further additions, manager Benitez - now in the final 12 months of his contract - is concerned that Newcastle are facing a battle to remain in the Premier League.

“The reality is the Premier League is difficult, and every year the others spend money and bring new players. Everyone’s spending,” said Benitez.

“We have to fix a target to stay up - that’s it. Concentrate on staying up, and after that, see where (we finish).

“It will be more difficult than last year. Fulham, Wolves are spending. Huddersfield, Brighton ... everyone’s spending, making it more difficult. Next year the target will be to stay up.

“Brighton and Huddersfield are already in the Premier League. They’re spending some money. Then you see West Ham, they are spending some money.”