Rafa Benitez reacted after the final whistle to Newcastle United’s latest defeat on the road.

His first game in charge and the new Manager says that he will take the positives despite losing the match and failing to get on the scoresheet.

Rafa Benitez said that his players showed commitment and passion, two things that will be essential starting points when Newcastle face Sunderland on Sunday.

Nine games left and maybe the biggest positive is that now Benitez will have a much better idea of the strengths and…weaknesses of his new team.

Rafa Benitez:

“We started really well and had two good chances, then after 20 minutes they started pushing and they scored – then played the game they like to play on the counter-attack.

“I wasn’t happy with the goal because there were too many balls bouncing in the box. I would like to think about the positives. We reacted well and were pushing well.

“I thought that we could get a result and I was convinced we could do it – but they worked really hard and are pushing and their tempo is not easy for any team.

“I will take the positives… we did well, you could see the commitment and the passion.

“There were a lot of positives, the team showed that they are convinced that they can win. Every game will be important for us.

“We know our next game against Sunderland is a derby and it will be important for everyone – but I have a feeling the fans are really good and that they are the number 12 for the next game. We have plenty of things to do and they need to rest and work hard.

“I like the people, the staff, the fans and everyone is behind the club. Everything is positive but now we have to give them what they want on the pitch.

“We cannot change this result but we can be happy in terms of the commitment of the players.”

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