The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

RAFA BEN­ITEZ says it’s far too early to de­scribe Wednes­day night’s game against Nor­wich City as a mas­sive match in the club’s sea­son.

New­cas­tle face the Cham­pi­onship lead­ers at St James’ Park – the Ca­naries ac­cli­ma­tis­ing the bet­ter of the three clubs who dropped out of the Pre­mier League.

“It’s a long race, it’s still very early in the sea­son. We ap­proach ev­ery game think­ing about win­ning it and the Nor­wich game is no dif­fer­ent,” said the for­mer Liver­pool boss.

“In the first half we were so dom­i­nant we could have fin­ished the game. You saw in the first half a great team, but we couldn’t sus­tain it.

“We made some mis­takes de­fend­ing in the sec­ond half. We al­lowed them to stay in the game and that’s the neg­a­tive for me. We have to de­fend bet­ter. We gave them half chances and there was too many sit­u­a­tions where the ball was around our box.”

On the race for pro­mo­tion, Ben­itez said: “We have to keep calm.”

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