Con­fi­dence key to Toon poor show – Ben­itez

Sunday Sun - - Football -

RAFA Ben­itez says his side are suf­fer­ing from a con­fi­dence is­sue af­ter emerg­ing from their sev­enth Premier League game with noth­ing to show for their ef­forts.

The New­cas­tle boss watched on as his side gifted Le­ices­ter a goal in each half and failed to muster a sin­gle sec­ond-half shot on tar­get.

Ben­itez said: “Af­ter the sec­ond goal, it was clear that we missed a lit­tle bit of con­fi­dence, but that is some­thing you could ex­pect.

“We were tak­ing about that be­fore.

“Last year, we were in the bot­tom five in Jan­uary and we fin­ished 10th, so we have to carry on and be sure we are ready men­tally for the next game, and hope­fully phys­i­cally and tech­ni­cally.”

Toon owner Mike Ash­ley was in the stands for his first ap­pear­ance on Ty­ne­side since May 2017.

Ben­itez said: “If he’s around, it’s al­ways pos­i­tive, but it’s some­thing that will not change what we do on the pitch.

“The fans want to win, we want to win and if we do well, the fans will be be­hind the team dur­ing the game, , and that’s it.”

Ben­itez felt the game changed af­ter New­cas­tle failed to grab the lead af­ter chances for Joselu and Mo o Di­ame.

He said: “I will say I am dis­ap­pointed be­cause we didn’t do what we were e ex­pect­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously they [Le­ices­ter] did well, they were well or­gan­ised, but still we had a cou­ple of chances that t could have changed every- thing.

“If we had taken one of f those chances, we would be talk­ing about a dif­fer­ent game.

“Even in this sit­u­a­tion where they had con­trol at the end, you could see we were giv­ing them op­tions at set-pieces, cor­ners, the penalty and in the sec­ond half, the cor­ner.

“That made the dif­fer- ence and gave us less confi- dence and more for them, and they were pass­ing the ball, mov­ing the ball around and we were e ex­posed be­cause we were more open and we needed to at­tack.

“We were not very pre­cise on the ball, giv­ing the ball away and we were e more ex­posed when we e were open.”

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