English Premiership

Koeman: Difficult for Benitez at Newcastle

2016-04-08 11:18
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."

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