Rafa Benitez says Kenedy and Jacob Murphy MUST improve – after they failed to make an impact against Watford.
Kenedy and Murphy started Saturday’s third-round FA Cup tie at St James’s Park.
However, the wingers struggled to make any kind of impression against Javi Gracia’s side, who won 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Andre Gray and Isaac Success.
Asked about the performances of Kenedy and Murphy, Benitez said: “You have to have the people around you to help you play.”
When pressed on their contribution, Benitez added: “Everybody has to improve, for sure.
“We have to be better and we will try to be better.
“We have to maximise what we have.
There have been reports that out-of-form Kenedy, one of the club’s two permitted domestic loans, could be sent back to Chelsea this month.
Asked if Kenedy would definitely stay beyond the transfer window, Benitez said: “Yes.”
Murphy, meanwhile, is wanted by Championship club West Bromwich Albion.
Benitez – who has loaned defender Jamie Sterry to Crewe Alexandra – insisted before the Watford game that it would be difficult to allow anyone to leave in the window unless there are new arrivals at St James’s Park.
Meanwhile, Gracia – who made 11 changes to his team for the tie – hailed his squad after their win.
“At this moment, we’re in a good position in the league and are going forward in the FA Cup, but we are in January still and there are a lot of games left in both competitions,” said Watford’s manager. “Now is the moment when we have to show our level, now is the moment where we have to be demanding and try to show our ambition.
“I’m very pleased for all of them, because sometimes it’s not easy for me to explain how important all my players are.
“When I say I believe in all my squad, it’s because I believe in all my squad, and, in games like today, it’s important to show all of them are working really well.”