Rafa Benitez eyeing a Premier League opportunity for Newcastle

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez believes there isn’t a big difference between many teams in the Premier League – and Newcastle United must look for marginal gains.

The club’s three-game winning streak was brought to an end yesterday by Brighton and Hove Albion, who beat Benitez’s side 2-1.

United had chances to take the lead at the Amex Stadium.

And manager Rafa Benitez belives that the game underlined the “small margins” that are at play in English football’s top tier.

“It could be like this for us,” said Benitez.

“We know we have to depend on our team work to have chances to get points.

“We have to be strong in defence, and we have to play well to have chances on the counter-attack, or move the ball well like we did in the second half.

“There’s not a massive difference between a lot of the teams in this league, and these small margins are what we have to use to our benefit in these kinds of games.”

The Magpies had enjoyed three wins on the bounce, beating West Ham United, Swansea City and Stoke City, teams who are expected to be in the bottom half of the Premier league this season.

On the end of the winning run, Benitez added: “Our fans are very clever.

“They know we were talking about three wins in a row, but they also see that our team is a team that has to work very hard and do everything right to make sure they have chances to take points.

“We made some mistakes and paid for that. We didn’t take our chances, and that is a key factor in the games in the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, Brighton manager Chris Hughton was delighted with his team’s performance, as they picked up their second win of the season.

Hughton said: “I’m very pleased with the manner of how we had to win. Once we got the goal, it was very difficult.

“We had to defend well, which I thought we did, and protect the lead. I thought it was a good overall performance.”