'Calm' Benitez keen to forget transfer frustrations

With Tottenham visiting St James' Park on Saturday, Rafael Benitez says the time for complaining about Newcastle United's business is over.

Published : Aug 10, 2018 20:53 IST

Rafael Benitez is keen to move on from another frustrating transfer window and insists he has confidence his Newcastle United squad can compete in the Premier League this season.

Benitez was frustrated in his attempts to improve the squad in the close season, although he eventually managed to bring in seven new players to reinforce a squad that finished 10th in the Premier League last season.

The Spaniard was vocal in many of his complaints during pre-season, but his attitude will now change with the window closed and the visit of Tottenham on Saturday.

"I am really calm now as the window is finished," Benitez told a news conference. "It is the time to do what we did last year and have togetherness with the fans behind us. Everything we did last year, we have to do now."

"I'm sure the fans will think: 'Oh, Rafa is angry.' But I try to improve my team during the window. Now that is over. We have to concentrate on the football. We must focus on Spurs, which will be a difficult game. Could it be better? Yes, it could always be better. But I am happy with my team. I believe the spirit is there with my players to have another good season."

Benitez's contract is up in a year's time and, although he confirmed talks have halted for the time being, he is not concerned by the future.

"I want to stay, but now is not the time to talk. If we need to talk about an extension, we can do at some point," he said. "But I am focused on the team and finishing as high up the table as possible."

"It's been a difficult summer, but we are ready for the Premier League. The promoted teams have spent money, but we had a good team. Even if we didn't pay big money for [Salomon] Rondon, [Yoshinori] Muto or Kenedy, they are good players. Our first target has to be to survive, but the reality is that, if we do what we did last year, we can be a lot higher than 17th," he said.

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