Newcastle's Atsu defends Benitez's style

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The Ghana winger talks about the Spaniard’s coaching philosophy which many seem not to like

Newcastle attacker Christian Atsu has thrown his weight behind manager Rafael Benitez, who has been criticised for his 'overly defensive' approach to games.

It has indeed been a bumpy road for the Magpies in the Premier League this season after winning promotion last campaign.

Currently 13th on the 20-team log, they sit just two points above relegation-trapped Southampton, and for many, Benitez's outfit's fortunes would have been different had they been more attack-minded.

"He [Benitez] loves to play football," Astu said, as reported by the Newcastle Chronicle.

“He loves to be compact, aside that he is very good with the players.

“He asks how we are feeling and how we’re doing.

“Rafa asks if we are tired and things.

“He doesn’t just do things on his own but he looks after us and sets up the training.

“We’re very happy to have him.

“He’s a great manager and he is doing very well.

“Aside from football he is also a good, good man.”

Atsu has been a key part of Benitez's set-up, having made 23 league appearances, involving 18 starts and two goals, so far this season.

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He joined the outfit from Chelsea last summer following a loan spell during the promotion campaign in the lower division.

Newcastle will play away to tenth-placed Bournemouth in their next game.


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