English Premiership

Koeman: Difficult for Benitez at Newcastle

Rafael Benitez (TEAMtalk)
Rafael Benitez (TEAMtalk)

Cape Town - Southampton manager Ronald Koeman thinks that Rafa Benitez has a challenging but exciting task in trying to save Newcastle United from relegation.

The two sides are set to meet at St Mary's on Saturday, with the Magpies currently second-last in the Premier League standings and six points from safety with just seven games left to play.

Benitez has been unable to oversee a win since replacing Steve McClaren at the helm, with the club suffering five defeats in their last six games, and Koeman does not envy the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager's task.

"It's always difficult. He came in when already it was difficult," the Dutch coach said. "You need wins, you need points.

"It's always difficult for a manager to change it in one or two weeks, but you don't get time as a manager to change things as you like these days."

Koeman was reticent when asked if the Spaniard was putting his reputation on the line with the struggling Magpies, his second club this season after an unsuccessful stint with Real Madrid.

"It's difficult to give an opinion about that because he had the talks with the club, he had the feelings with the club," the Saints boss added.

"If he thinks he can keep the team in the Premier League then of course it's a good opportunity for a manager because we are talking about a big, important club in the Premier League.

"They have some good players, have spent a lot of money, but are maybe the third year in a row struggling in the Premier League."

Fixtures
Sat 04 Jul 20 13:30 PM (SAST)
Norwich City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Carrow Road
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Crystal Palace
King Power Stadium
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester United
AFC Bournemouth
Old Trafford
Results
Thu 02 Jul 20
Manchester City 4
Liverpool 0
Thu 02 Jul 20
Sheffield United 3
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wed 01 Jul 20
West Ham United 3
Chelsea 2
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
32
28
86
2. Manchester City
32
21
66
3. Leicester City
32
16
55
4. Chelsea
32
16
54