Rafa Benitez believes Newcastle United are underdogs almost every week in the Premier League because they cannot compete with their rivals’ financial muscle.
While the United boss is full of praise for his own players, he has moved to highlight the monetary gulf between the Magpies and their Premier League opponents, ahead of a trip to Everton this evening.
“You see the derby against Liverpool and you see the level of Everton and you understand they can spend on one player maybe more than we spend in a total window, so that is the difference,” said Benitez.
“We played against West Ham and we didn’t do well, but you see the money that a lot of teams – Fulham, Wolves, all these teams, how much money they have spent.
“This year, we can be underdogs anywhere, and we have to change that on the pitch.
“Again, I will say we are doing really well.
“With everything around, we are doing really well and this group of players, they have to take credit for that.
“Hopefully, we can continue doing the same.
“But in the Premier League, we have to be sure we don’t waste too much energy and that we are ready for every game, which will be like a final for us.”
Yoshinori Muto is set for a recall to the United matchday 18 tomorrow, while Matt Ritchie is suspended.
On Muto, Benitez said: “He’s fit, he’s fine. He went to Japan because of the new baby and the injury.
“He came back and we were winning, so he understands, he’s a great worker.”
“We have different option to replace him (Ritchie). We will decide 90 mins before the game.”