Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will not jeopardise promotion chances for cup run
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 29/11/16 3:33pm
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has insisted he will not jeopardise the club's promotion chances in pursuit of cup glory.
The Spaniard takes the Sky Bet Championship leaders to Premier League Hull on Tuesday, with a place in the EFL Cup semi-finals at stake. Newcastle have not made the last four of a major competition for more than 11 years, since they lost to Manchester United in the 2005 FA Cup in Cardiff.
However, while Benitez will do all he can to address both situations this season as excitement mounts on Tyneside, he is adamant he cannot jeopardise the club's bid for an instant return to the top flight.
He said: "If we have a chance to win a trophy, I will try to win a trophy. That is 100 per cent sure. But I will not risk anyone just with this idea. I want to do well in every single game.
"If we can go through, then we will keep going. But if I have one or two players with problems, I will not play them just because I want to be in the semi-final.
"I don't want to lose a player for one month when I need the player for every single game."
Newcastle will run out at the KCOM Stadium still smarting after unexpectedly surrendering their nine-game winning run in all competitions to Blackburn on Saturday.
They will do so to meet a Hull team depleted by injuries and facing a survival battle, but Benitez remains wary.
"If we cannot go through, I will say that we were not strong enough to compete in both these competitions at the maximum level," he said.
"After, we will have the FA Cup and it will be the same approach. I will not say, 'I have to play the best team possible'. If I have to risk one or two players, it makes no sense."