Previous
Nigeria
Mali
5:00 PM UTC
Game Details
England
Australia
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Northern Ireland
Belarus
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Republic of Ireland
Netherlands
6:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Argentina
Honduras
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Uruguay
Trinidad and Tobago
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
DC United
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Next

Newcastle lead Premier League injury report

Premier League
Read

Newcastle's Rafa Benitez: 'I don't care if we lose the derby and stay up'

Rafael Benitez insists ensuring Newcastle's survival in the Premier League is the overwhelming priority as he attempts to bring an end to the club's derby misery.

The Magpies face neighbours Sunderland on Sunday in a game which could have a major say in both clubs' fight against relegation.

Newcastle UnitedNewcastle United
SunderlandSunderland
1
1
FT
Game Details

Newcastle have lost their last six meetings with Sunderland and know a seventh defeat could have serious repercussions with an estimated £100 million in TV money at stake, although Benitez is adamant it is the bigger picture which matters most.

He said: "This is the game for the fans, it's massive. I'm not too worried about that. I'm confident we can win, but the main thing is staying up. I don't care if we lose the derby and stay up.

"The main thing is to do the job and take the three points because that will give everyone a good feeling, but the priority is staying up. If you can me guarantee me that I lose the derby and stay up, I will take that.

"We will have more chances to win, even if we lose the derby, but it will make it a lot more difficult."

Rafa Benitez is focused on the bigger picture for Newcastle.

That said, Benitez knows exactly how big a boost a win this weekend could provide for the remaining eight games of the campaign, and having already tasted a 4-0 home defeat by Barcelona in Spain's Clasico earlier this season during his spell as Real Madrid boss, he is in no mood to repeat the dose.

He said: "We will try to keep the players confident to try and make sure we approach the game in the right way. Because it's the derby, it's more important. We have to get three points and that will maybe be the start of something special."

Benitez's relationship with opposite number Sam Allardyce was anything but special during his days in charge at Liverpool, and the pair have sniped at each other repeatedly over the years.

However, the Spaniard believes that will not come into it as they renew hostilities on the field.

He said: "I don't think it's important for the future. I've been away for two and half years and I don't have any problems. I am professional and I want to win the game, and hopefully the players will be the most important thing during and after the game.

"As managers, we can sometimes make a difference and have some headlines, but I don't think that is something to worry about."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.