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May 12, 2019 at 3pm UK
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Rafael Benitez: Finishing tenth last year was "miracle" for Newcastle

:Headline: Rafael Benitez: Finishing tenth last year was 'miracle' for Newcastle:
The Magpies could finish the campaign with a point more than they managed 12 months ago.
PA | 12d

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has admitted it was always going to be impossible to replicate last season's "miracle" top-10 finish this time around.

The Magpies will bring down the curtain on another tough season at Fulham on Sunday with their Premier League status intact and perhaps even with a point more than they managed by the end of the last campaign.

The 44 points they collected last season was enough to secure 10th place on their first season back in the top flight, but they will run out at Craven Cottage on 42, eight adrift of Watford who currently occupy that spot.

Benitez said: "We didn't realise last year that to finish 10th was a miracle. This year, we expecting that, 'We finished 10th, maybe we can finish seventh', and it was impossible.

"You can be lucky one year or you can do really well one year, but to be consistent, you have to have everything in place.

"Also, remember Brighton, Huddersfield and us, we were promoted and we were more or less there. But when you have Fulham promoted or Wolves and they are spending £100million, it could be totally different.

"To be where we are now is a great achievement, maybe not bigger than last year, but it was more difficult, for sure, this season."

Newcastle guaranteed their place in next season's Premier League with three games to spare, although that looked a distant hope at the start of the campaign when they went 10 games without a victory and collected only three of the first 30 points they contested.

Asked if a 12th or 13th-place finish was about right for him team, Benitez said: "You could have asked me the same question after eight games and I would have been over the moon.

"At the beginning, you never know. Because the teams that were promoted and also the teams at the bottom of the middle of the table were spending so much money, I think it's fair enough.

"We did well. We missed some points in some games and maybe we were lucky in other games, so I think it's fair enough. I'm still not happy with that because I would like to be higher, but I think it's fair enough."



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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