Rafa Benitez has revealed that he will look to improve the success of the Newcastle United Academy once the club secure their Premier League future.
Last week a number of Newcastle Under-23 players were released on the grounds that they were not good enough, and were not seen capable of making the Newcastle first team. This has encouraged Benitez to look at Newcastle's development system with the belief that homegrown players can help to improve the squad.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Benitez answered the question over whether there was room for improvement within the academy: “Yeah, obviously the Academy is always quite difficult especially now because the Premier League is getting better and better.
“To bring players through from the Academy is not easy. We have to improve things around to make sure we can promote players in the future.”
Benitez mentions how staying in the Premier League is still the priority: “The fact that we were in the Championship last season and have been coming back into the Premier League means you have to concentrate all your energy into staying up.
“At the same time, you have to keep an eye on the Academy and be sure that we improve things there.
“We want to create the situation where some of the players have a chance to stay in the Premier League and help the squad - or even make the difference (in the first XI) if it’s possible.”
He revealed how he plans to lay solid foundations for the future, and explained how this will improve the first team in the long term: “My experience in England was with Liverpool for six years. After three or four years they gave me the responsibility of the Academy.
“We changed the technical director at the Academy and we changed some coaches. One of the coaches we brought in was Rodolfo Borrell who is now working with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
“The other one, the director of our Academy, was Pep Segura who is now the technical director of Barcelona. So we were right in choosing the people.
“We improved the LFC Academy a lot. If you want to have some chances of players coming from the Academy we have to keep working hard like we are already and change two or three things to be sure that young players have more chances to go close to the first team, because a couple of players from the Academy in the first team means that you will save a lot of money."
Newcastle are currently only five points above the relegation zone, with their next game coming up against Huddersfield. This is a must win, considering that Huddersfield would leapfrog the Magpies in the table if they were to lose.