Rafael Benitez identifies communication problems in Newcastle United's squad

St James Park

Newcastle United have assembled a squad of players from a number of different countries.

Rafael Benitez has admitted to the Chronicle that the fact Newcastle United have such a cosmopolitan squad makes his job as manager difficult.

Newcastle have players from a range of different countries, and their understanding of English is at different levels.

It means that Benitez has found communication challenging, with the former Real Madrid boss having to brush up on his French skills.

“I need to practise my French,” Benitez said. “I learnt in school and I was quite good but so many years I was talking in English or Italian, and Spanish.

“I talked to Mbemba earlier in French, sometimes I try to talk to him and I was trying to remember my French.

“It’s quite difficult to do the job because you need to communicate (in different languages). There are things you have to tell the players.

“You can do different things - you can use the video but you have to say something.

“At half-time you have to explain things, little details very clearly, and can I do it in French?

“No, it has to be in English but some of them cannot understand English so how do you explain little things so they will understand?”

Benitez initially seemed to struggle to make much of an impact at St. James’ Park result wise, but things are starting to improve now.

Newcastle have collected five points from their last three matches - and they have managed to come from back from behind against Manchester City and Liverpool during this time.

Newcastle may have left their strong run of form too late, though, as their survival chances still look bleak.

The Magpies are currently in 19th place in the Premier League table, and they have played a game more than their relegation rivals, Norwich City and Sunderland.

Newcastle’s final three fixtures come against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch