This isn’t the Championship! Rafa Benitez has blunt message for Newcastle’s players

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez has told his Newcastle United players to use their heads – and cut out the mistakes.

Benitez’s side have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats in the Premier League.

We have to learn what we have and what we have to do and how to react if something is right or if something is wrong.

Rafa Benitez

And 11th-placed Newcastle’s next game is against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Benitez was frustrated at the second-half errors made against Bournemouth at St James’s Park on Saturday.

The visitors’ winner came from an injury-time corner.

United weren’t always punished for mistakes in the Championship last season, but the errors made last week in the top flight proved costly.

“We have to learn quickly what it means in the Premier League and what it means to make mistakes,” said Benitez.

“It’s not like in the Championship when you make mistakes and you can win. If you make a mistake, you pay for that.

“We have to learn what we have and what we have to do and how to react if something is right or if something is wrong.

“It seemed that we were learning quickly, but now we are making mistakes and paying for that.

“We have to be sure we’re more focused and concentrate, especially in the last minutes of a game. We have to keep working hard.”

Benitez paired Dwight Gayle with Joselu up front.

It was Gayle’s first league start since August.

“He was training well,” said Newcastle’s manager. “(I was) trying to find different ways to approach the game and attack.

“In the end, we lost. But you have to say they were working hard.”