Benitez reacts to boos from Newcastle fans after Brighton draw

Date published: Saturday 30th December 2017 7:11

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez understands boos from a section of the club’s support after they were held to a 0-0 draw against Brighton at St James’ Park on Saturday.

The Seagulls might have headed back from Tyneside with all three points had Magpies goalkeeper Karl Darlow not managed to parry Lewis Dunk’s header, although opposite number Matt Ryan had to be equally alert to deny Dwight Gayle at the other end with the visitors enjoying marginally the better of the game.

It proved to be another difficult afternoon for Benitez, who restored the players he rested for Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester City to the starting line-up, but saw his team labour in a game they had targeted.

“For us, it was important to win, but if you cannot win, always it’s important that you are strong in defence and you do not give them too many chances,” the Spaniard said.

“I don’t think they had too many, apart from set-pieces – we were expecting that they could be strong at set-pieces, but still they had maybe one and the rest of the game, without playing well, their keeper was busier than our keeper.”

With no sign of a proposed takeover being completed at any time soon, the Magpies remain in a state of flux, and Benitez will head for Stoke on Monday with his side having been booed by a section of their support on the final whistle.

He said: “After a game that you are expected to win, it can be disappointing, but at the same time, these fans appreciate that the effort of the players is there, so you cannot complain about that.”

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