Newcastle defender Federico Fernandez admits he wants to repay boss Rafa Benitez for the trust he has shown him so far. The former Swansea City man made his debut last weekend as he played in the middle of defence in a new 5-4-1 formation.The 29-year-old is set to play in a similar role this weekend as the Magpies take on Premier League champions Manchester City.
Club captain Jamaal Lascelles is a doubt with an ankle knock and Fernandez is now ready to play his third game in a week. He played in the Carabao Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest and is now looking to lead by example under Benitez.
Fernandez told The Chronicle: “I have played a lot of games in Wales last season in a three-man central defence. I know the system and how it works, and why we need to do it against top sides like Chelsea and Manchester City.
“Teams try to put teams in between the lines and so we have to make sure we don’t give too much time to them, then we can recover the ball and try to create our own chances.
“I saw during training in the week when we trained in this system, so the gaffer told me I had to play in the middle. We were working very hard during the week to improve this system, and we will do going forward, too.
“It’s an important position and I feel good that the gaffer has the confidence in me to play this role so early.”