Rafa Benitez reveals why he left Kenedy out of his Newcastle squad

Rafa Benitez says he made a "technical decision" on Kenedy for Newcastle United's game against Watford.

Saturday, 29th December 2018, 4:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:30 am
Rafa Benitez.

The on-loan winger was left out of Benitez's squad for this afternoon's game at Vicarage Road, which ended 1-1.

Kenedy, re-signed on loan from Chelsea in the summer, has struggled for form so far this season.

And United's manager said: "It was a technical decision. This group of players were training really well, and I wanted to just give them the chance stay here and do well during the game.

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"We have to realise that the key for us has to be the team effort, and has to be every player giving 100%.

"You can see that the players were doing well in the first half, but they made substitutions that, on paper, are better players, and that is the Premier League.

"We have to be sure that for us everyone is focused, concentrated, and is giving everything because we need the help of everyone."

Salomon Rondon gave Newcastle a first-half lead with a powerful header from a Matt Ritchie cross, but Watford substitute Abdoulaye Doucoure levelled with a header in the 82nd minute.

Benitez said: "I can be happy, because before the game, against a good team, it could be a good result.

"But I was disappointed with the way we were defending, and we were very close. To concede this way was disappointing.

"If they had scored in the way they had been playing in the first half, with a pass in behind or something like that, then you say fine. But they scored in a way we could have avoided.

"And also in the way we were playing on the counter-attack we could have been more accurate with the final pass, and then we could be talking about something different.

"But, overall, I am really pleased with the teamwork, the performance of the players, the teamwork and the commitment, so a lot of positives after the defeat against Liverpool, and that's our way.

"We have to be sure that everybody gives everything, and then we'll have chances against every team."

Newcastle are 15th in the Premier League and four points above the relegation zone.

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