Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United’s 6-0 thumping of Queens Park Rangers has given him a BIG problem.
Benitez’s side moved to within a point of Championship leaders Huddersfield Town last night.
And they did it without leading scorer Dwight Gayle, who was an unused substitute at Loftus Road, where Newcastle were backed by 3,005 jubilant fans.
Jonjo Shelvey scored twice to take his goal tally for the season to three, while Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez, Grant Hanley and Ciaran Clark were also on target.
United manager Benitez – who is yet to play summer signing Daryl Murphy – admitted after the match that he is finding it harder and harder to pick his team, and especially his strikers.
“I am very happy with the strikers,” said Benitez.
“It was a difficult decision for me, because Gayle is doing really well and Murphy was also doing well.
“To leave somebody out of the squad and play Mitro instead of Gayle or Ayoze is difficult.
“I am really pleased that we have a good squad and everybody worked hard in the training sessions to be in the team.”
Benitez feels all his players will get a chance this season given the inevitability of injuries and suspensions.
“It’s too early,” he added. “We don’t have many injuries, and we will have problems and suspensions.
“Everybody has to make sure they are fit for us for the rest of the season.”
The result was Newcastle’s biggest away win in the league in 54 years.
But Benitez said: “The main thing for us was to get three points.
“As soon as the game was nearly won, we needed to carry on and keep doing well. We also got the clean sheet.
“That was important for the defenders. The main thing was to get the three points and leave the fans happy for the next few days.”
QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted that the club’s heaviest home league defeat in 96 years was “hard to take”.
Hasselbaink said: “Newcastle are a good side.”