(Reuters) - Newcastle United’s players have complete faith in manager Rafa Benitez and are confident that the Spaniard’s defensive approach to matches against the Premier League’s big teams will ultimately pay off, midfielder Mohamed Diame has said.
Newcastle fielded five players in defence in their last two games but their conservative tactics did not prevent 2-1 defeats to Chelsea and champions Manchester City, with Benitez drawing criticism from the media and some supporters.
“We all back him and believe in him. We will do everything to make sure that, come the end of the season, we have got the results that we want,” Diame told the British media, coming to the defence of his manager.
“People can talk, it’s part of football. The most important part is that, as a group, we’re sticking to our plan and we’re sticking together.”
Newcastle lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in their league opener and their only point this season came in a goalless draw at promoted Cardiff City. They next play Arsenal on Sept. 15 after the international break.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney