Benitez talks Hughes and transfers after Stoke victory

Joe Williams

Rafa Benitez says that Newcastle United are in the market to try and improve their squad as the January transfer window opens.

The Magpies took a narrow 1-0 victory over Stoke back up north after Ayoze Perez finished off Jacob Murphy’s cross in the 73rd-minute.

And Benitez was pleased to get the three points to make it seven points from their last four matches in the Premier League.

“I think the players were working very hard over the last few games and after the last result this one we needed to win,” Benitez told BBC

“We started the game very well, defended well, we had a couple of problems when they played on the counter attack but overall we were playing well.”

On the future of Mark Hughes – who has come under pressure at Stoke recently – Benitez added: “I think he did what he thought was important for them, to play this game like a final. They were working very hard and you could see the team spirit was there for them. For us it’s good, for them it’s bad, but for both teams you can see the players are working very hard.”

On January transfers: “We know we are looking for something that can improve the team in different areas. The players are trying everything and I am pleased with them but if we can improve our squad we will try to.”