RAFA CAN BE GEORDIE GOD

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sport - BY SI­MON MULLOCK

LUIS GAR­CIA has told Liv­er­pool to brace them­selves for a Rafa Ben­itez master­class.

The Reds face New­cas­tle at St James’ Park on Satur­day evening in a game that could have a de­ci­sive im­pact on their dream of win­ning the Premier League for the first time.

But Gar­cia in­sists that Jur­gen Klopp will not get any help from for­mer Kop boss Ben­itez.

He said: “It is true that Rafa loves Liv­er­pool – but he loves win­ning more. He is a to­tal pro­fes­sional and he will only be think­ing about win­ning the game. Be­lieve me, he won’t even be think­ing about a draw.

“He will pre­pare New­cas­tle to per­form in the best way pos­si­ble.

“I know peo­ple won’t un­der­stand that. They will say, ‘Come on, Rafa loves Liv­er­pool, he wants them to win the ti­tle’.

“But his pri­or­ity is New­cas­tle. His feel­ings for Liv­er­pool won’t come into it.” Ben­itez (above) has kept the Ge­ordies in the top-flight for an­other sea­son de­spite work­ing on a shoe­string bud­get.

He is out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son and is re­fus­ing to sign a new deal un­til owner Mike Ash­ley gives him fi­nan­cial as­sur­ances.

Gar­cia added: “I re­ally be­lieve that if New­cas­tle gave Rafa more fi­nan­cial help in the trans­fer mar­ket he could get them fight­ing for the Europa League po­si­tions.

“I am sure other clubs will be look­ing at Rafa. He will def­i­nitely have other of­fers. But I think Rafa re­spects New­cas­tle as a club and also the fans.

“He is a guy who likes to build a team — and he will want to fin­ish the job he has started.

“Could you imag­ine if he won a tro­phy at New­cas­tle?

“He would be treated like a god by the fans.”

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