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Rafa Benitez comments on Newcastle United fans

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Rafa Benitez

Rafael Benitez has told The Times that he feels “very proud” by the reception he gets from the Newcastle fans.

The Spaniard says that he enjoys being a Newcastle manager when the team is winning, adding that he hasn’t enjoyed much this season.

The former Real Madrid manager’s first priority this season is to secure Premier League safety for the Magpies. However, he believes that Newcastle could be more than they are, and can be more dynamic.

Benitez was loved and respected at Liverpool where he enjoyed a successful spell but he didn’t get a similar sort of appreciation from Chelsea and Real Madrid fans.

Newcastle supporters are very passionate about their club, players, and manager, and very few grounds in the Premier League can produce a great atmosphere like they can.

Benitez says that he feels a responsibility to deliver when the fans chant his name, and feels proud by the adulation he gets from the fans.

However, he believes that St James’ Park can produce an intimidating atmosphere week in week out if they stay in the Premier League.

When you know the fans are against you, it’s not the same passion,” said Benitez in an interview for The Times.

“When they support me in the way they’re supporting me here, you feel this responsibility. I am really proud of that. I try to focus during games — doing my job properly is the best thing I can do for them — but sometimes when they sing my name, I have to wave.

“It was the atmosphere (against Manchester United),” he added. “Everything around the game was what you were expecting from this club in the Premier League.

“That was a good example. It’s what you want players to be saying when they come to St James’ — ‘Wow, very intimidating.’ It’s something I think we can replicate week in, week out — if we stay in the Premier League.”

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