Rafael Benitez draws parallels between Geordies and Scousers ahead of emotional Liverpool return

Rafa Benitez 3

The Newcastle manager says he is so happy on Tyneside because Newcastle fans share the passion he saw from Reds supporters.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has told reporters, as quoted by the Chronicle, that his return to Anfield will be "really emotional", but insisted he is so happy at St. James' Park because the supporters share the same passion for their football club as he saw from Liverpool fans.

Benitez will return to the club he led to Champions League and FA Cup glory and four successive top-four finishes when he takes his side to Merseyside tomorrow.

The 56-year-old remains a popular figure amongst Reds fans despite a poor final season in charge, and clearly himself still holds great fondness for the club and its supporters.

The Spaniard admitted that his return to Anfield will be an emotional occasion for him, and highlighted the fact that Newcastle fans share the same passion for their club as Liverpool supporters as major reason for him being so happy on Tyneside.

He said, as quoted by the Chronicle: "[It will be] really emotional for me because I had been there for years. My connection with the fans and the city everybody knows is fantastic. But the main thing when I am talking about the Geordies is that they are very similar to the Scousers.

"Everything people say about Liverpool I already know first-hand. The atmosphere with the Geordies and Scousers will be electric. For me, the similarities of the fans, the passions of the fans, a city of workers is very similar, so that is why I am so pleased here."

As much as the occasion will be a special personal moment for Benitez, Newcastle are in the middle of a desperate survival scrap, and he insisted that after a positive week in which the Magpies have taken four points, he will be taking his side to his former home to earn points, not just play their part.

He added: "Obviously before any game you want to win and get three points. We know that will be difficult but we still have the belief that we can do it. I will not say before the game that one point will be enough. Before - three points. During the game, after the game - I will say maybe we were lucky with one point, but at the moment we will go there and try to get three points."

Newcastle are two points adrift of safety with four matches remaining at the start of the weekend's action.

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