Benitez happy with Newcastle's spirit

Rafa Benitez says he has turned Newcastle United into a fight club.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 6:15 am
Rafa Benitez

Benitez’s side dropped into the Premier League’s relegation zone after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal as Mesut Ozil claimed all three points for Arsene Wenger’s side with a stunning first-half volley.

Newcastle, however, rallied and Benitez’s players were applauded off the field by the 2,900 travelling fans.

Benitez – who is looking to add more experience to his squad in next month’s transfer window – was heartened by the fight his team showed.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Every game for us is important,” said Benitez, who took charge for the final 10 games of the club’s last relegation season.

“When I came nearly two years ago, the team was at the bottom and everything was negative. You could see no confidence or belief.

“Now, you have a team that might be in the bottom three, but still it’s a team with a lot of fight. There are a lot of young players and they are learning every game, putting in an effort.

“There are a lot of positives if you compare this team to that one. The other team had players with more experience that were established in the Premier League, but this team has more young players.

“We need to add what we need in terms of experience and quality to ensure we improve the balance of the team. Then we will be as competitive as we are now, but maybe with more experience and more quality, you will have more chances to win games.”

Benitez, who met managing director Lee Charnley last week, added: “January’s always difficult, but we have to try to do the best for the team.”