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Benitez admits he cannot risk Premier League status by prioritising a cup run this season

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'Who has a realistic chance? Teams in the middle of the table': Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez admits he cannot risk Premier League status by prioritising a cup run this seasonRafa Benitez has given his honest opinion of Newcastle in the cups this season The Spaniard admits he cannot risk his side's status in the Premier League Benitez says even the reserves of the top teams can beat those at the bottom Only teams in the middle of the league table can have a real go, says Benitez 

Rafa Benitez says he cannot afford to risk Newcastle's Premier League status by prioritising the FA Cup.

The Spaniard also believes there is little chance of the Magpies ever winning a cup competition given the dominance of the top sides.

Newcastle travel to Blackburn in a third-round replay on Tuesday, and Benitez said: 'We can talk about, "Oh the cups", but a lot of (Premier League) teams went out of the FA Cup.

Rafa Benitez says he cannot risk Newcastle's Premier League status with a cup run this season

'Why? Because the Premier League is massive. You have £130million guaranteed if you are there.

'So everyone is trying to manage the situation. Also, you have to be realistic. Who is in the final of the Carabao Cup? And who can be in the final of the FA Cup? One of the top sides.

'Now, it's even worse because the reserve team of one of these clubs, they can beat another (Premier League team).

Benitez admits the financial rewards of staying in the top flight means it must be prioritised

The Spaniard is tasked with keeping Newcastle up despite receiving minimal backing

'Who has a chance, a realistic chance? Teams in the middle of the table because they can have a go because they are safe. The other teams, you have to manage it really carefully.

'I will give you an example because I read people saying, "We have to do this, we have to do that, I don't understand".

'Listen, Jonjo Shelvey was playing the other day (during 1-1 draw with Blackburn) because we were trying to change and then win the game and avoid the replay - and he is injured now.

'What does that mean for us, with Ki away, with Muto away? It is a risk and you have to accept that it is a risk.'

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