Rafa Benitez reacts to Newcastle’s spirited fightback against West Brom

Jacob Murphy
Jacob Murphy

Rafa Benitez hailed the “character” of his Newcastle United players after they came from behind to end a four-game losing run.

Benitez’s side came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns last night.

The result lifted the club up to 12th place in the Premier League table.

Stand-in captain Ciaran Clark started the fightback with a header from a Matt Ritchie corner.

And Salomon Rondon diverted a Ritchie free-kick on to Jonny Evans and past Ben Foster for Newcastle’s equaliser.

Asked how important it was to end the losing run, United manager Benitez said: “I think that we didn’t deserve to lose the four games, but that is something that you cannot change.

With this bad run, reacting the way that we were reacting and showing the character that we did shows something very, very positive for the future.

Rafa Benitez

“With this bad run, reacting the way that we were reacting and showing the character that we did shows something very, very positive for the future.”

Benitez, however, was still frustrated that his team conceded two goals.

He added: “I’m disappointed and pleased at the same time.

“Disappointed, because I think that we did quite well in the first half. I think that we had the game under control and then we conceded another late goal.

“We were talking about that and how we needed to learn from the mistakes of the past and focus in the last minutes.

“We conceded and then went in at half-time with the feeling that all the hard work was for nothing.

“The second goal was even worse in terms of the feeling and the mistake, not because the mistake was bad it’s just because it was the second goal. But the reaction of the team was really good.

“We saw again that they care, they reacted, they were working very hard, and as soon as we scored the first goal we were back in the game.

“We could have won the game because we were in control, but it was a question of time as to whether we could create some chances.

“There was not enough time to get the third goal.”