Rafa Benitez reacts to Kenedy's performance for Newcastle United

Kenedy.
Kenedy.

Rafa Benitez says Kenedy was trying to make an impact at the Amex Stadium as Newcastle United lost control of the game.

Kenedy replaced injured goalscorer Ayoze Perez in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The on-loan winger – who came on for Perez in the first half – made a fitful contribution to a game which Newcastle dominated for 45 minutes.

Brighton fought back after the break and levelled through a Pascal Gross strike.

Asked about Kenedy’s performance, manager Benitez said: “I think he was trying, but if you analyse the second half it was not just him.

“A lot of players didn’t have the same confidence and control as they had before then.

“You have to give credit to the other team sometimes.

“It was massive game for them and for us, but last year when we were safe we lost four games in a row, not because we didn’t have the intensity, but it’s not always the same when you have to do it and need to do it.

“In this case, for us, the reaction with which we approached the game was positive.

“But it’s difficult to play for the whole 90 minutes with the same approach and be pushing and pushing the whole time.”

Meanwhile, relegation-threatened Brighton are now four points above 18th-placed Cardiff City with two games left to play.

Manager Chris Hughton said: “We hope that goal has made a big difference, but we can’t afford to think that way.

“We have to think Cardiff are capable of winning their last two games .”