Rafa Benitez admits that Newcastle United are on a steep learning curve in the Premier League.
Aaron Mooy bagged the only goal as Huddersfield Town beat Benitez’s side 1-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium yesterday.
The £10million Australian smashed in a 50th-minute winner following a one-two with Elias Kachunga, as Newcastle suffered a second successive defeat, following last week’s 2-0 loss to Spurs.
Benitez has signed six players this summer, but the Magpies’ squad still looks to be short of goals.
“It’s a learning process, and we have to learn quickly,” said the Spaniard. “Maybe it is too soon for us. It will take some time, for sure.”
Magpie legend Alan Shearer said on Twitter after the match that it would be a “long, hard season” for his former club.
Asked about Shearer’s tweet, Benitez said: “We have to learn quickly, so we will be working very hard trying to prepare the team as well as we can for every game.”
The Tynesiders did create chances against Huddersfield. “I could say we deserved to get something,” said Benitez.
“But my experience in the Premier League is that you have to take your chances, because if you make mistakes, you will pay for them.
“We started the game controlling things a little bit when they were pressing.
“But it doesn’t matter if you are well organised, pressing and working very hard – you have to score goals. And you cannot concede if you want to get results in the Premier League, or any division, but especially when you are playing in the top division.”
Benitez was without three injured defenders for the game, and he didn’t name a defender on his bench.
“We have three injuries, and it’s not easy to manage when you have three injuries in defence,” said Benitez.
“That makes things more difficult, but it’s the Premier League and we have to learn.”
Asked if the team had enough goals in it, Benitez added: “Yes, I think so.
“We will improve, and we will create more chances and score goals, for sure.”
Debutant sub Joselu nearly scored a carbon copy of Mooy’s effort at the other end, but his effort lacked power. From the resulting corner, Ayoze Perez had an even better opportunity but his hooked volley went over the crossbar.
Jacob Murphy was denied by a brilliant sliding challenge from Chris Lowe as Huddersfield held on.
Huddersfield: Lossl, Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Lowe, Mooy, Billing, Kachunga (Palmer 72), Ince (Hefele 90), van La Parra (Quaner 69), Mounie. Subs: Malone, Coleman, Lolley, D Williams. Booked: Billing, Palmer, Mounie. Goal: Mooy 50.
Newcastle: Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Hayden (Diame 76), Merino, Atsu, Perez (Murphy 80), Ritchie, Gayle (Joselu 52). Subs not used: Saivet, Aarons, Darlow, Mitrovic. Booked: Ritchie, Hayden, Joselu, Lascelles.
Att: 24,128. Ref: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).