Saturday was yet another none too subtle reminder for Rafa Benitez as to the lack of quality he has in the creative and goalscoring departments.
For the fifth time in the last six home games his side failed to score a goal at home, with only a very small handful of chances created against a Brighton side who were marginally the better team.
Rafa Benitez says ‘The fans appreciate the effort that the players are putting in on the pitch’.
However, he followed that up with ‘Now we will see if we can do something in January and bring in some help for this group of players’.
If better quality isn’t added in the next month, Newcastle are clearly going to continue to struggle to score goals, and be at serious risk of relegation.
The press have claimed that West Ham are trying to sign Jonjo Shelvey and when asked about that, the United boss said: ‘If we don’t bring in players, it will be very difficult to lose players. Even if they are not happy, they still have to keep working and try to give their best for this team’.
After being a key man in the promotion campaign, not many fans would have predicted that he’d be struggling to get a game, but Shelvey has clearly not impressed Rafa Benitez.
Even if Rafa can land players that he wants, it would appear inconceivable that Newcastle would consider selling a player to one of the few teams that look as weak as they do.
“The team is working hard, that is what you expect from these players.
“We did not play at the level we maybe can play but credit to Brighton because they were well organised and managed the tempo of the game quite well.
“Their keeper was busy but we could not score and could not get the three points, that was the main thing for us.
“Brighton are well organised. Our decision making has to be better in the final third.
“I could see Bruno all the time telling them calm down, calm down. Slow the tempo. That’s experience.
“They know what they are doing. In the second half we were pushing, we were trying.
“The fans appreciate the effort that the players are putting in on the pitch.
“Now we will see if we can do something in January and bring in some help for this group of players.
“We have to keep doing our job and hopefully we will keep doing what we need to do.”
Rafa Benitez asked if Jonjo Shelvey could be sold to West Ham:
“If we don’t bring in players, it will be very difficult to lose players.
“Even if they are not happy, they still have to keep working and try to give their best for this team.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Brighton 0
Possession was Brighton 55% Newcastle 45%
Total shots were Brighton 10 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Brighton 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Brighton 6 Newcastle 3
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Perez 72), Hayden, Merino (Shelvey 76), Atsu, Joselu (Murphy 84), Gayle
Woodman, Manquillo, Mbemba, Diame
Crowd: 52,209 (2,200 Brighton)
(Mark Hughes admits throwing Chelsea match with 7 changes to focus on Newcastle – Read HERE)
(The most worrying thing about Newcastle’s performance – Read HERE)
(Give us your NUFC player ratings from the Brighton match HERE)
(Read the match ratings from the goalless draw HERE)