Rafa Benitez reveals the impact of Newcastle's player bonus dispute on the dressing room

Newcastle United's players again refused to speak to the media after the club's defeat to Augsburg.

Sunday, 5th August 2018, 10:14 am
Updated Sunday, 5th August 2018, 10:23 am
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez's side was beaten 1-0 at St James's Park yesterday in their final pre-season friendly.

The team didn't speak to journalists after the 4-0 defeat to Braga in Portugal three days earlier, and Benitez's players again shunned interviews after the Augsburg game.

Newcaslte's players after Augsburg's goal.

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United's squad, for the second season running, are understood to be unhappy at the bonus scheme proposed by the club.

Asked it the players were in the right frame of mind because of the issue, manager Benitez said: “I will tell you before the game against Braga, maybe it wasn’t. Today I will tell you yes.

“I think the players will tell you that our job is to perform on the pitch. I can’t complain about the players or the way they approached this game or we missed this pass or made mistakes.

“Their attitude is right now, and it has to be the same way for the whole season.”

Newcastle's team spirit was a key factor behind the club's 10th-placed finish in the Premier League last season.

"For us, it’s about the team," said Benitez. "Last year we saw the team spirit and staff, that was the key. So it has to be the key next year. We don’t talk about the (transfer) window.

“We’re trying to improve the squad as we said before, but we don’t know if we can do it or not. So it’s just carry on working and try to our best before August 9.

“Then after we have to do our best on the pitch.”