Benitez backs under-fire Sissoko to silence Newcastle critics

Date published: Saturday 26th March 2016 12:56

Moussa Sissoko: Has come in for criticism

Moussa Sissoko: Has come in for criticism

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez admits Moussa Sissoko needs to improve certain aspects of his game, but insists the player still retains his faith.

Sissoko, who has has spoken about his ambition to play in the Champions League, has been criticised for his lack of consistency by fans and pundits in equal measure, but Benitez has not lost faith in the France international.

The coach told The Chronicle: “He has a lot of things, it’s just being sure he will put things on to the pitch. You saw in the last game he was running and passing players, he still has to improve things.

“If he carries on doing this he’ll be better. He has everything: potential and quality. At Leicester he probably could have had a penalty. He was there but he will need time. He will score goals in the future.”

Sissoko filled in at left-back in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland because of the defensive injury crisis and is currently away with the France international team.

Benitez admits he does not know if he will be available for the game at Norwich on April 2.

Benitez said: “It’s too early because he’s been with France. Then we have to see if he’s available. All we can do is work with the players that are already here.

“We have midfielders so we will do something specific with the midfield. We have defenders too but we don’t have everybody. We did defenders and offensive players and it’s all specific work.”

The player himself feels Newcastle have enhanced their survival chances following the sacking of Steve McClaren and subsequent appointment of Benitez.

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