Ben­itez has faith in Toon abil­ity to turn things round

Sunday Sun - - Football -

RAFA Ben­itez says he is re­fus­ing to panic af­ter New­cas­tle United slumped to a third home de­feat in a row at St James’ Park.

The Mag­pies re­main in the rel­e­ga­tion zone but Ben­itez re­mained calm af­ter the 2-1 loss to Arse­nal.

Speak­ing directly af­ter the game Ben­itez was asked if he was wor­ried about the club’s poor start to the cam­paign.

He said: “No - I said be­fore, it’s a dif­fi­cult time be­cause you have to win games, but it’s noth­ing that we were not ex­pect­ing, it could be like that.

“The only thing is that maybe against Cardiff, we could have got three points but you can see with Arse­nal at Cardiff, any­thing can hap­pen.

“If Cardiff had scored early goals, they could have won, so it’s not an easy game to play.

“But the re­al­ity is that against a top side, you can lose and we have lost by a small mar­gin. “That’s the only pos­i­tive.” Ben­itez felt that strikes from Granit Xhaka and Mezut Ozil were the only two mo­ments of qual­ity.

He said: “Yes, that’s an easy anal­y­sis, two mo­ments of qual­ity changed the game.

“I think we did enough in the first half maybe to score and to show peo­ple that we can com­pete against th­ese teams.

“As soon as some­thing was wrong, it was quite dif­fi­cult for us be­cause we con­ceded two early goals and then our goal was too late.

“In the sec­ond half, 2-0 down with one sub­sti­tu­tion al­ready made, it was not easy to man­age against a very good team.

“We are talk­ing about a team with so much qual­ity, play­ers with pace, with abil­ity and as soon as we were at­tack­ing, we were open and we were ex­posed.

“We did well in the first half, but the sec­ond half was more dif­fi­cult. You think that if you do well, you can get points against th­ese teams.”

Ben­itez was also asked whether he was con­cerned about the fact his side failed to take their chances.

He com­mented: “I am not con­cerned be­cause I know my team, I know they think that we can do well.

“The next step is to be sure you have the abil­ity, the qual­ity in the fi­nal third to make the dif­fer­ence.

“For us, it’s im­por­tant to be there to cre­ate chances be­cause we have to cre­ate more than the other teams.

“Arse­nal, they told me, had only two shots on tar­get and they scored two goals, so that was the dif­fer­ence in the end.”

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