Rafa Benitez reveals why he made six changes to his Newcastle side

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
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Rafa Benitez says he did NOT change his side with Newcastle United's EFL Cup quarter-final in mind.

Benitez made six changes to his starting XI for this afternoon's home game against Blackburn Rovers.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jesus Gamez, DeAndre Yedlin, Christian Atsu, Isaac Hayden and Chancel Mbemba came into his team.

But they couldn't help Newcastle record a 10th successive win.

A second-half goal from Charlie Mulgrew gave Blackburn a 1-0 win.

United's manager Benitez, however, insisted he didn't rest players ahead of Tuesday night's cup tie against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium after the Championship match.

Asked if he had changed his team with the cup in mind, Benitez said: "No. With some we had to do it. With some we gave them the opportunity to perform."

Benitez was frustrated with his players, referee David Coote and his own decisions.

He said: "I'm very disappointed. I didn't like the way we started the game. I didn't like the game was stopping all the time. I didn't like our reaction when we were losing. We have to do better. I didn't like my decisions."