Rafa Benitez reveals his view on Jacob Murphy’s Newcastle form – and future

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez still believes Jacob Murphy can fulfil his potential at Newcastle United.

The winger was handed a rare start in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at St James’s Park.

Confidence is something you have to keep going and searching for. That’s the only way.

Rafa Benitez

However, Murphy looked short of confidence and failed to impress in the third-round tie.

And the 23-year-old was replaced by Christian Atsu with 15 minutes left on the clock as Newcastle pushed for an equaliser.

On-loan Kenedy – who has struggled for form this season – faded after a bright start in the tie and was also taken off by Benitez.

Matt Ritchie cancelled out Bradley Dack’s goal with a late penalty after substitute Ayoze Perez was tripped in the box.

Asked about the performances of Murphy and Kenedy, United manager Benitez said: “When you have players in this kind of games, where they have not been playing, then at least they have try and I think they tried.

“Confidence is something you have to keep going and searching for. That’s the only way.

“I can give them confidence, training every day and talking with them. At the end of the day, it depends how games go.

“We have to keep going. On a day like today, I had to make substitutions to try to save the game.

“They have to perform, and that’s it.

“All of them on the pitch who had not been playing (had an opportunity), they have to decide what commitment they show and I think they did that.

“You can be better or worse on the ball, have more luck, but at least they tried. We can analyse form that.”

Murphy, signed from Norwich City in the summer of 2017 in a £12million deal, has found his opportunities limited this season.

Huddersfield Town and Derby County have been linked with loan moves for Murphy.

Asked if Murphy could still be a success at United, Benitez said: “Murphy still has the potential, and I hope so.

“You have to play well to play more games, that is the circle.”