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Benitez ‘really surprised’ by appointment of referee for must-win game vs Preston

Date Posted,April 21, 2017

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez insists he was hugely surprised when he learned referee Andy Madley would be officiating Newcastle’s huge Championship clash with Preston on Monday.

Madley was born in Huddersfield and his home-town club can still catch Newcastle as they look to secure automatic promotion into the Premier League.

Huddersfield still have a game in hand over the Geordies and social media has been swamped with conspiracy theories that another major twist could still take place at the top of the table.

Rafael Benitez is desperate to see his side get back on the winning trail (Photo: Newcastle United via Getty)

Newcastle have seen their promotion hopes suffer a major setback at the wrong stage of the season with just a single point from their last nine games and the recent defeat against Ipswich has left them only six points ahead of third placed Reading.

Brighton secured promotion back into the top flight on Bank Holiday Morning and despite leading the table for a considerable period, Benitez’s side are in grave danger of missing out all together if their bad run of form continues.

Benitez says they have to trust the referees who are being appointed, but says he did raise an eyebrow when he was told the identity of the man taking charge at St James’ Park.

Benitez knows the importance of getting a home victory on Monday (Photo: Newcastle United)

Benitez said: “I was really surprised with the assignation, but we have to trust the referees.

“We haven’t had too much luck this year with some decisions, but I have always a lot of respect for the referees.

“I know it’s a difficult job. Hopefully everything will be fine and nobody will be talking about the referee at the end of the game.

“We still have to play three games in this mini-league, so we will see what happens.”

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