Rafa Benitez's final word on Stephen Martin and THOSE red cards

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez has told of his relief after Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett had their bans lifted.

Shelvey and Dummett were sent off by referee Stephen Martin in last Friday night's 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

They were dismissed for separate incidents involving Henri Lansbury.

READ MORE: Newcastle stronger than ever under Rafa Benitez – despite three successive defeats
The cards rescinded on appeal and the pair are available for Newcastle's home game against Birmingham City tomorrow.

And United manager Benitez said: "In the end, I think it was obvious we were upset, because there was no way any of those could be red card during the game.

"They can play now, and that is a positive.

“I will not waste too much time on last week. We are obviously disappointed not to get the three points we could have got. The referees make mistakes and we have to accept that. We have got the players coming back and at least we can concentrate on that."

Newcastle are looking to end a run of three successive defeats against Birmingham.

Benitez added: "The players realise and the fans also that if we stick together we can be stronger.

"Because we are the top side in the Championship that is easy to go against us, it is easy for them to think we can win or we spend a lot of money, but we have to stick together and if we have any problems we have to defend each other."

Benitez's side are a point ahead of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion, who entertain Leeds United at the Amex Stadium tonight.

United have away fixtures against Wigan Athletic and Burton Albion next week.

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