Rafa Benitez reacts to boos from fans after Newcastle's draw against Brighton

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has reacted to the boos which greeted the final whistle against Brighton and Hove Albion.

There were scattered boos around St James's Park after Newcastle United were held to a goalless draw by Chris Hughton's side this afternoon.

The result saw the club drop a place to 16th in the Premier League ahead of their New Year's Day game against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

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"For us, it was important to win, but if you cannot win, always it's important that you are strong in defence and you do not give them too many chances," said manager Benitez.

"I don't think they had too many, apart from set-pieces. We were expecting that they could be strong at set-pieces, but still they had maybe one and the rest of the game, without playing well, their keeper was busier than our keeper."

Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle

Asked about the boos, Benitez added: "After a game that you are expected to win, it can be disappointing, but at the same time, these fans appreciate that the effort of the players is there, so you cannot complain about that."

Newcastle have taken five points from their last 12 league games.

Meanwhile, Brighton manager Hughton felt his team was the "better side".

"I think we were the better side over the 90 minutes," said Hughton. "It could have been three points, so we're disappointed at that.

"But also, these are a good side irrespective of anything and a worse feeling would have been coming away from here with maybe the one good chance that they had (being taken) and we come away with a defeat.

"That would have been the worst feeling, because we certainly wouldn't have deserved that."