Rafa Benitez reveals dressing room disagreement over Martin Dubravka's error in Newcastle United's draw at Molineux

Rafa Benitez has revealed Jamaal Lascelles' reaction to Martin Dubravka's mistake at Molineux

By Miles Starforth
Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 7:01 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 8:27 am
Martin Dubravka, centre.
Martin Dubravka, centre.

A controversial strike Willy Boly saw Wolverhampton Wanderers claim a point from a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United last night.

Dubravka felt he was fouled by Boly, who escaped a red card after elbowing Ayoze Perez in December's meeting between the two sides at St James's Park. That game ended in a 2-1 defeat for Newcastle, who conceded a 94th minute goal.

Lascelles, United's captain, suggested that Dubravka should have dealt with the cross "in another way", according to Benitez.

Dubravka had also made a mistake in the club's previous game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

“The disappointment is clear for everyone," said Benitez. "Martin was talking about more protection, Jamaal was saying Martin could deal with the cross in another way. It was another bad way to concede."

Boly's strike, from a deep Adama Traore cross, came five minutes into added time after fourth official Simon Hooper and held up a board showing that four more minutes were to be played at Molineux.

Benitez, for his part, demanded more protection from referees in a strongly-worded verdict on officiating standards in the English game.

"You have to be really disappointed with the way we conceded in both games against this team," said Benitez, United's manager.

"In the first game there was an elbow in the face of my player, a penalty not given, then it was really disappointing to concede in this way against a good team.

“In England, they don’t understand the rules – you can say whatever you want to say.

“It was maybe a foul before too. You can say many things like the 94 minutes, but it will not change what happened. Like the first game, we couldn’t say too much and it didn’t change what happened.

“It doesn’t change anything, like the first game didn’t change anything when we had a player with a broken nose.

“The first game we had a player with a broken nose, we conceded in the last minute and we should have had a penalty and there should have been a red card, but nobody said anything.

“The situation is to protect the goalkeeper, so you're supposed to protect the keeper. We have been here for years, and it's very difficult to explain that.”

The result has left United one point above the Premier League's relegation zone with 12 games left to play.

“I'm disappointed, and I was happy with the performance of the team," said Benitez. "I'm happy with a lot of things and happy with the way we played.

“We played against a good team, we have one more point and it’s a pity. I knew we could cope quite well.

“The team, as a team, put in the effort. They have some players with the quality and it was a good display.”

Benitez and his players flew to Spain after the game for a five-day training camp and a friendly against CSKA Moscow on Saturday.

“We go to Spain now, try to train well and be together for the new players for the new team mates," said Benitez.

Meanwhile, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo hailed his team after they kept going and claimed a point.

“To the last minute, the last second, until the referee's whistle, we kept going," said Nuno.

"I'm pleased. That's something we have to keep doing, showing this character. In the first half, we created a lot of chances, but the final touch was not there against a team that was well organised.

“The story of the game could have been different. We had a lot of situations and combinations when we might be able to score next time.

“What I'm disappointed with is to concede. We allowed Newcastle too much time to make the final pass.”