Rafa Benitez’s response to the costly defensive ‘mistakes’ at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez admits there was no case for the defence against Huddersfield Town.

Newcastle United have lost their first two Championship games of the season.

They are scoring from nothing because we are making mistakes. So we have to ensure we improve in defence, but also in attack too.

Rafa Benitez

Huddersfield won 2-1 at a sold-out St James’s Park at Saturday thanks to two goals which Benitez felt were preventable.

And Newcastle, 21st in the league table, must tighten up – and improve in attack – against Reading at St James’s Park tomorrow night, according to the club’s manager.

Benitez feels teams are scoring from “nothing” against his team – and that MUST stop.

Asked if he was concerned about the goals his team was conceding, United manager Benitez said: “Yes, I am really surprised, because it is not that they are creating ridiculous chances and then you cannot stop them.

“They are scoring from nothing, because we are making mistakes.

“So we have to ensure we improve in defence, but also in attack too.

“These things we haven’t done well in the games, but normally we are doing these things well in the training sessions.

“Normally, we know exactly what we have to do, but we haven’t done these things.”

Defender Jamaal Lascelles, the club’s newly-appointed captain, has pledged that he and his team-mates, under the will “sort out” the issues on the field.

“There’s still loads of games to play,” said the 22-year-old.

“We can’t start blaming each other and get our heads down – we’ve got to stay positive.

“We still need to gel together as a team, and I’m glad the game’s around the corner on Wednesday so we can get straight into that.

“I assure all the fans we’ll put in a better performance out there. You’ve just got to stick with us, because we are going to keep trying. The talent’s there, and we’ll sort it out.”

Lascelles says the pressure on Newcastle’s players can’t be used as an excuse.

“I don’t think there was tension,” he said.

“We get paid to play, so we should be able to deal with any circumstance. We can’t be saying ‘pressure there, pressure here.’

“We weren’t good enough individually or as a team. As a whole, it wasn’t good enough, but we will fix it.

“I’m glad (the Reading game) is on Wednesday to get on with it and try and get the three points.”