Rafa Benitez assesses what Newcastle need to do against Ipswich

Jamaal Lascelles celebrates hitting Newcastle's opener against Leeds
Jamaal Lascelles celebrates hitting Newcastle's opener against Leeds

Rafa Benitez has told his Newcastle United players to play it again at Portman Road.

Benitez’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds United at St James’s Park last night.

Second-placed Newcastle were denied what would have been a hugely-important three points by a 95th-minute goal from Chris Wood.

Wood’s strike cancelled out a goal earlier in the half from captain Jamaal Lascelles.

Benitez was unhappy at his team’s defending – Wood was left unmarked by Lascelles – and referee Christopher Kavanagh for allowing five minutes of added time.

But he had been pleased with his team’s performance up to Wood’s late, late goal.

And Newcastle’s manager has challenged his team to replicate the performance when they take on Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Easter Monday.

“If we play in the same way that we did, we can win any game,” said Benitez, whose side are four points behind Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion and eight points ahead of third-placed Huddersfield Town.

“But we have to keep this intensity, this good play and hopefully things will be different.”

Newcastle, after recovering from a slow start, went on to dominate the game.

And Leeds goalkeeper Robert Green kept his side in the game with a series of saves.

“We created enough chances to win the game,” said Benitez, who celebrates his 57th birthday tomorrow.

“The keeper, I am sure you will say, was man of the match. That has been something that we have seen a lot of times here and it’s part of football.

“But with all the effort and the good play that we showed, it’s a pity that we got just the one point.”

Benitez added: “I’m not down, I’m just so upset because there are so many games where I have seen things that I don’t understand.”