Newcastle boss Benitez targets new club record against Cardiff

Date published: Thursday 27th April 2017 3:59

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez

Rafael Benitez still has his eyes on the Sky Bet Championship title and a club record as Newcastle travel to Cardiff on Friday evening.

Victory at Cardiff on Friday night would leave the Magpies just a point adrift of leaders Brighton, who would then need to beat Bristol City the following day to prevent the race for top spot from going down to the final day of the campaign.

Benitez’s men have won 13 times on the road in the league already this season and a 14th would set a new high for the club.

He said: “If we win this game, we will break the record in the history of the club for away wins, so we will try to do it. If we win our games and Brighton make a mistake, we can be champions. We will try to do it.”

Benitez will rest several members of his squad who have been playing with knocks and was both happy and relieved to have tied up promotion back to the Premier League with two games to spare after a late-season wobble.

Only Burnley have done that at the first attempt in the wake of relegation since the Magpies themselves did it seven years ago, and he believes that is a notable achievement for a squad which underwent a radical overhaul last summer.

He said: “What we have achieved is very, very important for everyone here because as I have said before, in the last five or six years, just one team had been promoted straight after relegation, so to do that with two games to play for me means that was a great achievement.

“These players deserve credit for that, and to have all the city behind the team has also been really good and I am really pleased with that.”

However, Cardiff boss Neil Warnock would like nothing better than to wipe the smiles of the faces of the travelling Toon Army as he too prepares to turn his attention towards next season.

Warnock told the club’s official website, www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk: “We just have pride at stake. We need to put a good performance on in front of the TV cameras.

“With Newcastle coming, it’s a game that whets the appetite. It will be a good crowd and the Geordies will be coming to celebrate.”

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