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Benítez backs Magpies to find form in front of goal

Written by Tom Easterby

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benítez has faith his side will find form in front of goal as they go in search of a first Premier League win of the season on Saturday.

Leicester City are the visitors to St. James’ Park (3pm kick-off), with United looking for a repeat of last season’s fine 2-1 victory over the Foxes.

If Benítez’s men are to take the three points, though, they will have to add to this term’s tally of four goals – something the Spaniard is confident his charges can do.

“I have confidence that the team will score goals. We did in the past, and we will do it again,” he said. “Don’t forget one thing – the fixtures were quite difficult for us but last year, more or less the same team was the best team in the bottom ten in terms of stats.

“We were the best team and we finished tenth, so we did something right, and we have to put things right again – and as soon as possible.”

At the other end of the pitch, summer signing Federico Fernández has impressed at the heart of the Magpies defence alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles.

“Fede was our player at Napoli, and then he went to Swansea,” said Benítez, who coached the Argentina international at Stadio San Paulo. “Coming back to the Premier League, we were following him, and last year we were in the battle to avoid relegation with Swansea so we had some contact.

“We knew he’s a clever player. Understanding of the game, when you are getting older and you are a defender, is quite important.

“For us, he is a good addition, because he’s a player who can help the younger players around him and he is very positive in his approach. He’s very competitive and we’re very pleased with him. Hopefully he can be a great player for us during the season.”

The Magpies will be without the services of on-loan frontman Salomón Rondón, who has been ruled out of Saturday’s game with a thigh injury.

But his manager is hopeful Newcastle can record a first victory of the season in front of their own fans.

“The pressure is just what we want to do or what we put on ourselves, because we want to win our first game and start winning games in a row,” he said. “Every game is an opportunity, and this is the first one. It’s at home, so obviously we know that we will have more chances to win here than maybe in another stadium, so we will try to win.”

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