Rob Elliot shares the message Rafael Benitez has been telling Newcastle United's players in training

Newcastle United

Rafael Benitez has been appointed as Newcastle United look to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Rob Elliot has told the Daily Mail that Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has been promoting a back-to-basics approach since he took charge.

Benitez took over from Steve McClaren last week, and he has been hard at work rectifying the faults in his side’s play already.

The former Real Madrid boss has been taking double sessions at Newcastle, and he has cancelled a number of scheduled days off.

Benitez has nine more games remaining to save Newcastle from playing Championship football, and he seems to have already realised the magnitude of his task.

The Magpies are currently sat in 19th place in the Premier League table, and they are one point adrift of safety.

And Elliot suggests that Benitez is of the opinion that Newcastle need to take a no risk style, if they are to get out of trouble.

“He just wants us to be more of a team and keeps emphasising we have to keep it simple,” Elliot said.

“Rafa wants us to play simple football and work together, cover each other. That's it really, it's been a message intended to relax us and get us focused on the run-in.

“He's not going to come in and change the football dramatically because he just wants us to keep it simple and work hard, but he also wants us to develop as a side — and most importantly start winning games.”

Benitez took charge of his first Newcastle match on Monday night, but he was unable to guide his side to victory, as they slipped to a 1-0 loss to Leicester City.

Newcastle’s next match comes against Sunderland in what looks set to be a crucial Tyne-Wear derby at St. James’ Park.

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