Could do better! Rafa Benitez gives his assessment of Newcastle's start to the season

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez says he's NOT entirely happy with Newcastle United's start to life in the Championship.

The fifth-placed club, which takes on Norwich City at St James's Park tonight, is well-placed after winning five of its first nine league games this season.

But Benitez feels Newcastle can improve in all areas of the pitch over the coming weeks and months.

"If you start in the Premier League, you have 38 games to play," said United manager Benitez, whose side were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa at the weekend.

"Now in the Championship, we have 37 games (left), so there are a lot of games still to play. We just have to concentrate and do our jobs properly.

"We’ve played against difficult teams. We’ve lost three games, but every game in this league is very difficult. They (Norwich) are top of table, have a good team and know each other well. They know what to do so it will be a tough test.

"I’m not happy (with the start), it could be better. I was doing some analysis, and we can improve our game a bit better.

"If you play against the teams at the bottom, then you have to be stronger than them. But every game is difficult.

"We can improve in all departments. In attack, we have to take our chances. In the middle, we have to control the game and the ball a bit better. At the back, we have to defend better

"We can also improve the substitutions. So there can be improvements in every area."