Rafa Benitez reflects on the ‘mistakes’ that have cost Newcastle

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says he’s not surprised to see Newcastle United in the relegation zone – but he doesn’t expect the club to stay there.

Benitez’s side are yet to win this season.

And Newcastle are third-bottom ahead of Saturday’s home game against Arsenal.

However, United manager Benitez isn’t yet concerned by the club’s position in the Premier League given that his team has faced three of last season’s top five.

“Being in the bottom three is something you might expect when you look at our fixtures,” said Benitez.

“Obviously, we were confident we could get results against Cardiff, and any of them, and the reality is we were very close – but not close enough.

Being in the bottom three is something you might expect when you look at our fixtures,

Rafa Benitez

“Sometimes, you need a bit of luck. Against Cardiff, it was very clear. The penalty made a massive difference in the end. But against Tottenham, we hit the post, the crossbar. We were close to having something that would give you more belief for the other games.

“Then we score against Chelsea and concede too early. You have to manage these games a bit better.

“Even against Nottingham Forest (in the Carabao Cup), it was the same. We drew level, but then conceded straight away.

“It’s something you can do better – to manage the game in the last minutes. That comes down to experience.

“You keep working, but you make mistakes.”