Rafa Benitez responds to boos at Newcastle with message for fans

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez called on fans to stick with his team after Newcastle United’s troubled season took another turn for the worse.

There were boos at the final whistle on Saturday after Brighton and Hove Albion condemned the club to a seventh defeat.

Beram Kayal scored the only goal of a game which Newcastle had dominated.

Benitez’s decision to replace striker Yoshinori Muto with Joselu in the second half was also booed by some fans.

Asked what his message was to supporters, United’s manager said: “They can see the team’s working really hard.

“They can be upset if they miss a pass or a chance, but the players, they’re trying, and it’s a question now of having one game where we might be lucky to score to change the confidence and everything will change.

“Should they stick with us? Yes. It’s good if they stick with us. That’s the right message, because we need everybody on board and we to realise that’s the only way.”

Newcastle’s results this season have taken a toll on the players’ confidence.

“When you’re at the bottom of the table, normally it’s more difficult to play the way you want to play,” said Benitez.

“Now we’re there, I said before with the fixtures we’ve had it was going to be difficult.

“We’d like to think we could be higher, and with the performances, we deserve to be higher, but that’s where we are and we have to try to carry on.”

Benitez will analyse the game with his players before starting work ahead of Saturday’s game against Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium.

“We will analyse what we did right and wrong,” he said.

“We did almost everything that we had to do, I would say. Winning a game is about the final third, the final pass and the decisions we make.

“We’re a little bit under pressure because the time is short now and you play with anxiety trying to make the right decisions.”