Jose Mourinho offers surprising backing to Newcastle boss Benitez

Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Swansea City at St. James Park

Manchester United head to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last time out.

The Manchester United manager's touchline histrionics have been well documented over the years, leading the Portuguese to regularly clash with football's authorities. Normally good players, normally good managers.

'But I couldn't win. Now, for a few months he is free of minor injuries and I'm really happy. He made a big effort.

Mourinho is also largely happy with the state of modern refereeing, despite Klopp's anger last weekend and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola's recent frustrations.

Benitez told the Evening Chronicle: "Maybe that's good news".

Newcastle United v Manchester United: probable starters in bold, contenders in light.

Manchester United are expected to be welcomed by another capacity crowd on Sunday and Ritchie admits he loved playing in front of the Newcastle fans during his playing days due to their passion. I think the stadium is really nice, I like the atmosphere. I think they are a good team and I think they have a very good transfer window with Kenedy and [Islam] Slimani, two players I know well who can improve their team. No, they have to protect them equally.

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"What do you want the defenders to do?" I think it's the nature of the game that the more you fear the more you target. But for the referees, every player must be treated the same and according to the rules.

And, although, the former Sporting CP player is yet to take to the field for Rafael Benitez's men, he is already looking forward to making his deal permanent.

As well as UEFA Champions League games, income during the quarter was boosted by two extra Premier League games that were broadcast live.

Jose Mourinho has offered his backing to Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez, despite the two having a hard relationship in the past.

He said: "For you [the media], the mind games are more important".

"When you see the two games we drew, we were nearly there to win them", said 26-year-old Atsu. "It is like this". No, sometimes your team is better or the other is better and that is it.

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