By George Brooks
Rafa Benitez has insisted his focus is on his Newcastle United side as he prepares to renew his rivalry with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.
The Premier League returns this weekend with Newcastle making a trip to Old Trafford on Saturday.
Benitez and his side are looking to bounce back from the damaging 1-0 defeats to Bournemouth and Burnley before the international break.
The two managers developed a bitter rivalry when they were in charge of Liverpool and Chelsea a decade ago, but the Spaniard insists he has moved on and is firmly focused on tomorrow’s match.
“We are playing against Manchester United. It is not important who the managers are. He (Mourinho) is a good manager who has won a lot. I’m more concerned about Lukaku, Mata and Rashford,” said Benitez as quoted by Sky Sports.
“As always we will try to do our best to get three points if we can, but we know it will be difficult.”
Benitez will be hoping to see an improvement from his side in front of goal and as the Magpies look for a moral-boosting result.
However, the former Real Madrid boss acknowledges the size of the task ahead of his team, against a United side who have won all five of their home games this season.
Newcastle are currently 11th in the Premier League table but have won just one of their last six games and have lost their last two, Benitez will be hoping to stop the rot against his old rival.
Meanwhile, Mourinho and Manchester United will be looking to close the gap to leaders Manchester City.
In other Newcastle United news, former Magpies striker Michael Owen revealed his verdict on the reported potential takeover of his old club.