Rafa Benitez reacts to 'positive' Newcastle result

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez hailed Newcastle United's goalless draw against Southampton as a "positive" result.

The club moved off the bottom of the Premier League this afternoon after claiming a point from their visit to the St Mary's Stadium.

Huddersfield Town now prop up the division after losing to Watford at Vicarage Road.

Benitez's side had goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to thank for a series of saves against Southampton, who dominated the game.

United also had a late let-off when Shane Long shot wide.

"You have to analyse the circumstances and where we are at the moment," said United manager Benitez. "To go away, have a clean sheet and get a point – I think it’s positive."

Benitez went on: "We have to consider where we are, and where they are. We needed to win, they were pushing hard in the second half. We had to defend, and we couldn't play counter as we wanted.

"But we have to take the positives; a point and a clean sheet.

"In terms of workrate and team spirit, we cannot complain about that. We must improve on the ball – both teams were anxious – but we need to be a little bit better on the ball to create something on the counter attack.

"It is important for us to have the fans behind [in the next two games. Some think it could give us more pressure if we play at home, but we need the fans to be behind us and united.

"Both teams were struggling to keep the ball. Both teams are anxious, and they both kept giving the ball away. For us to get a point away and a clean sheet, it has to be very positive."

United didn't have a shot on target at the St Mary's Stadium.

Benitez said: "Again, I will say our fans are quite clever and they can see sometimes that we were a little bit nervous on the ball.

"It’s something we have to manage if we want to turn things around. I think the team, with the way they were working today, will do it.”