Jamie Carragher backs Rafa Benitez who is under pressure


"Newcastle have had the most difficult start in the Premier League. But the big problem is there have been games where Rafa Benitez and his staff would have looked and thought ‘We know it’s a difficult start’ but look at Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Leicester and Brighton. Forget the results, they haven’t scored one goal in those games you’d expect them to pick points up in. Look Rafa isn’t stupid. He knows it has been a tough start but there’s no way he would have envisaged two points, bottom of the league in this situation. That’s the huge worry for him because you’re talking about the fixtures coming - nine where they don’t play the top six. Well they have had four of them already and not scored a goal. You look at those and think the next three are vital.

"It’s not time to make a change. You’re not calm because of those fixtures, though. They’ve had four and done nothing in them. The big thing they have is a manager who, one of his biggest strengths – especially when he was managing Liverpool, is calmness. Sometimes he’s criticised for that. When he's doing well he doesn’t show emotion, he doesn’t celebrate goals, that kind of thing. But on the flipside of that it helps when he’s in this position. Every manager in that position – even managers who bring a club up, say Neil Warnock, or the Fulham manager – they will be under pressure. So Rafa Benitez will be under pressure, of course he will.

"But the talk of Mike Ashley making a change – I saw Brendan Rodgers got linked with the job last week before the Brighton job – well this is a manager who was there last season, knows the Premier League well, knows the squad well and has that calmness under pressure. I still believe there will be three worse teams than Newcastle. Rafa’s said that in the press today – hopefully there are three worse teams than us – I think there’ll stay up. Because of the manager and the quality they have."

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