WATCH: Off The Ball meets Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United manager was in Dublin as the Premier League season approaches

BY Raf Diallo 21:10 Tuesday 18 July 2017, 21:10 18 Jul 2017

As Newcastle United mark their return to the Premier League after a season long absence, the presence of Rafa Benitez in the dugout and training ground means there is optimism that the Magpies can build on last season's successful promotion push.

But what is the realistic aim for the first season back and what do the fans expect?

Benitez was in Dublin for the launch of Newcastle's third kit at Sports Direct and he told Off The Ball's Joe Molloy that stabilising their position in the top flight is the immediate target.

"We'll try to do well in every game and try to do well in the first game and hopefully it can give us some confidence for the rest of the games. The Premier League is so difficult now and the main thing is to make sure that mentally you are ready and after manage the situation it depends how it's going on," he said.

"I think at the beginning, we have to be realistic. It depends on how the transfer window is going on. If we have a much better squad, then we can talk about different things. At the moment, what we have to do is just think about if we can stay up and then do well, see how far we can go. But the main, as I said before, you can have bad results, be ready, and you can have some good result, be ready anyway."   

On the changes since he managed Liverpool, he feels the football is a "little bit better" as clubs across the board have more money to spend, thus bringing higher quality players.

"But in terms of how difficult it will be, I think it will like in the past: very difficult," he added.

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