Rafa Benitez vows to get ruthless in a bid to find a winning team at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez, left, and David Wagner

Rafa Benitez, left, and David Wagner

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Rafa Benitez has vowed to make more changes in an attempt to find a winning formula at Newcastle United.

Benitez’s side were beaten 2-1 by Huddersfield Town at a sold-out St James’s Park on Saturday.

The defeat followed a season-opening loss to Fulham.

And United manager Benitez – who made four changes for the Huddersfield match – is mulling over his options for Wednesday night’s Championship home game against Reading.

Asked if he was considering more changes, Benitez said: “Yes.

“I think that the players have to realise that we have to compete.

I think that the players have to realise that we have to compete. We have a big squad and we have to compete and be ready for what we know that is a very demanding competition, with us having two games a week.

Rafa Benitez

“We have a big squad and we have to compete and be ready for what we know that is a very demanding competition, with us having two games a week.

“We train in a way that everyone knows what they have to do, so it’s a lot easier to change players.

“But against Huddersfield we were thinking about having better control on the ball, having more possession.

“We had this, but still it was not enough. So if we have to make changes, we will make changes.”

United are missing the physical presence of the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic up front.

Mitrovic still has another two games of his four-match ban to serve.

Without Mitrovic, Benitez doesn’t have a player capable of holding the ball up and playing with his back to goal.

Benitez, for his part, is frustrated that the work being done on the training pitch isn’t being replicated in the Championship.

“It’s true that we didn’t have too many clear chances,” said Benitez.

“I was concerned about that, even though we improved in the second half when we were going to wide areas and we were trying to do something, but still it was not enough.

“We have to improve in defence because we are making mistakes, we have to improve in the middle and move the ball quicker, and we have to improve in the final third because we were not precise.

“We didn’t have enough good movement and the right patterns to our play.

“We didn’t do what we’ve been doing in training sessions during the game.”