Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has admitted it was always going to be impossible to replicate last season’s “miracle” top-10 finish. 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.
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The 44 points the Magpies collected last season were enough to secure 10th place on their return to the top flight, but they will run out at Craven Cottage on 42 points, 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.”
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