Rafa Benitez answers the big question at Newcastle and tells fans what they must do

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says his hardest job at Newcastle United will be getting more goals from his team.

Benitez’s side didn’t have a shot on target in Saturday’s goalless draw against Southampton.

Newcastle, second-bottom of the Premier League, have scored just six goals so far this season.

And the club’s three points have come from goalless draws away from home against teams in the lower reaches of the division.

Benitez – who welcomed Salomon Rondon back from injury at the St Mary’s Stadium – is focused on improving United’s record in front of goal.

Asked if his team had enough goals to stay up, Benitez said: “We have seen Rondon coming from the bench, so the competition between the strikers now is even higher than before.

Everybody wants to see good players around playing well all of the time. But the fans know that is not the case now, but they know what they have to do is to keep supporting the team.

Rafa Benitez

“Everyone is working hard, but, yes, we have to work on that (scoring more goals).

“You can improve a team in defence as much as you want, but we are doing well there – although there were a few times against Southampton where there were things I would have liked us to avoid doing.

“But anyway, it’s not easy when a team is pushing and pushing and trying to get three points at home. The most difficult thing is to improve in attack, but we have to work with what we have. We have to take the positives where we can – and we will.”

Benitez believes the club’s fans are realistic about the team’s prospects this season given the under-investment of recent transfer windows.

“Our fans are quite clever,” said Benitez. “They know where we are, and they know the situation.

“What they expect is a team that works really hard. You could see they were cheering and supporting the team until the end, so they appreciate that. At the same time, everybody, including players and manager, wants to see good players around playing well all of the time.

“But the fans know that is not the case now, but they know what they have to do – as they know already – is to keep supporting the team.”