Date: 9th September 2016 at 9:42pm
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Manager Rafa Benitez has held his pre Derby County press conference ahead of the game later today, and he seems very content with the transfer business done.

With a number of outgoings last month, as well as fresh faces coming in, Benitez explained to the media that he was happy with the balance of the side and the competition he had for places now amongst the players and he’s also quoted by the Chronicle as saying that he doesn’t mind if he picks up a ‘tinkerman’ title this season because fans can expect regular changes to the side this year to keep everybody fresh and in peak condition.

Stating that he wouldn’t rotate for the sake of it, he said his changes so far – and the ones that could be expected against Derby – were done for specific reasons, and the players would be aware of those and hopefully on board with the reasoning, as was Jamaal Lascelles when he was benched after two games and being given the armband.

Lascelles was quoted as saying he more than understood the reasoning.

‘When you change a team sometimes you are only changing one player according to the stats. It depends on the positions. Some players need to be rested because their position is more demanding physically. Some players can play more games in a row, like the centre-backs, while the wingers and strikers have more problems. It also depends on the competition. The players in the squad can compete and do well so I am really happy. I am not thinking about having to rotate just because it`s an idea. It`s because we know it is important to keep the competition between players and it`s important to keep them as fit as possible to prevent injuries and keep fresh legs for each game.’

With five Championship games and a League Cup tie set for September, Benitez knows it’s about managing the group, but ultimately that’s why he’s signed the players he has this summer so we have the depth and quality to give players a break.

‘We have a lot of games and not too much time, plus we have to travel. It`s always important to have a good squad and the players understand that is the way.’

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