Rafa Benitez: 'We Have to Wait Until January to See the Real Potential' of Newcastle

Rafa Marquez preaches patience as Newcastle finds its way.
Publish date:

Rafael Benitez will not judge his Newcastle first-team stars until the January transfer window as he looks to cement their place in the top half of the table.

The Magpies have taken 14 points from nine games in the Premier League this term, and have looked a much more formidable side in recent weeks after a shaky start to 2017/18.

With quotes attributed to him in the Chronicle newspaper following his pre-match Burnley press conference, Benitez stated that his current crop of players would be given the next three months to continue building on their impressive start to life back in England's top flight.

He said: “Everybody’s doing what they are expected to do. Training is good. That’s the reason why we’re in a good position in the table. At the same time, it’s too early. We have to wait until January to see the real potential of this team. It could be even better, but I’m really pleased with our position.”

Speculation over a possible takeover by businesswoman Amanda Staveley continues to dominate the headlines in the north-east, but Benitez is not concerning himself with the possibility of being handed a transfer warchest when the window reopens at the turn of the year.

Instead, the Spaniard is looking to keep tabs on those currently available to him, and the 54-year-old revealed that he did have one injury problem ahead of the clash with Sean Dyche's Clarets on Saturday afternoon.

He added: “We have only one injury (to defender Paul Dummett). The rest of the players are available, which is good for me.”

That ensures that striker Dwight Gayle is fit to return from a recent hamstring layoff and provide competitions up top for current first-choice striker Joselu.