Rafa Benitez waits to calm down before making decisions at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez will not rush into any decisions on team selection at Newcastle United ahead of Everton’s visit to St James’s Park.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 3:30 pm
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez was “disappointed” by his team’s performance in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat to West Ham United.

Newcastle’s manager had named an unchanged starting XI at the London Stadium.

Benitez – who could be without injured midfielder Sean Longstaff against Everton on Saturday – has options to change his team.

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However, Benitez will not make any kneejerk decisions – and he will first assess his players in training this week.

“To be fair, we will see how they train, what they do during the week, and after we will decide,” said Benitez.

“Normally, after the game, you’re not very happy, and it’s not the time to make decisions. It’s the time to analyse and think.”

The West Ham defeat left Newcastle in 14th in the Premier League – and six points clear of the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, West Ham captain Mark Noble says goalscorer Declan Rice’s celebration was not intended as a message to midfield rival Longstaff.

The pair were watched by Steve Holland, Gareth Southgate’s assistant at England, at the London Stadium.

Noble said: “I don’t think so – he’s not the sort of character to do something like that.

“He’s probably just doing it to quieten Newcastle fans, because they can be quite vocal.”