Rafa Benitez reveals what his players were saying in Newcastle’s dressing room

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez has revealed what his Newcastle United players were talking about in the dressing room after the club’s defeat to Leicester City.

Benitez’s winless side were beaten 2-0 at St James’s Park on Saturday – and the result has left the club joint-bottom of the Premier League.

We were talking about how we need to be better on the ball and have more intensity.

Rafa Benitez

Newcastle spurned two good chances before Jamie Vardy put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 30th minute.

And Harry Maguire put the game beyond United with a header from a corner in the second half.

Asked what the reaction to the game was in the dressing room, United manager Benitez said: “Everybody was very disappointed.

“We were talking about how we need to be better on the ball and have more intensity.

“We didn’t have many shots on target, but I don’t remember them in open play getting in front of the goalkeeper having chances.

“It was just corners and corners, and they’re quite strong at set-pieces. That was they key.

“I know we didn’t control the game, I know we didn’t play well, but they scored from a penalty and a corner.”

Benitez, one of European football’s most respected coaches, was more used to challenging trophies than fighting relegation when he came to Newcastle two and a half years ago.

However, for the second successive season the under-funded club’s aim is Premier League survival.

Asked how difficult it was for him, Benitez said: “It’s hard, but I have to find a way to give the players ideas and confidence and keep going.”

Benitez started analysing the Leicester game on Saturday night.

“I have to analyse what is going on,” said Benitez, whose side have taken just two points from their first seven games.

“I will see a few highlights of the game, and then we will watch the whole game (on Sunday). We know where we are ,and we have to find solutions.”