Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Mark Hughes accuses Rafa Benitez of frustrating a very poor Southampton team

2 years ago

After the final whistle, Mark Hughes wasn’t a happy man.

Not exactly a new situation.

The manager watching his Southampton team make it over 500 Premier League minutes without a goal.

Newcastle United offered absolutely nothing and Mark Hughes accused the visitors of simply trying to ‘frustrate’ him and his players.

The truth though was that simply Newcastle are not very good and end up defending for most of the time in their matches, purely because they are incapable of doing anything else.

It is now 14 matches in the Premier League between the two managers and Mark Hughes has won one of them, so today was I suppose a moral victory for Rafa Benitez as it extended that sequence.

For the watching Newcastle fans, the biggest thing was that they saw yet another team who are no better than themselves, grateful for any small mercies.

Mark Hughes:

“We are all frustrated and disappointed about the return for our efforts.

“I thought on the day we were the side trying to win the game and Newcastle came here to try and frustrate.

“We wanted to get on the front foot clearly and have momentum in our play but constantly we were having to turn around and collect balls they’d played over the top and restart attacks from deep positions.

“We picked it up in the second-half and didn’t allow them to get in behind us.

We had the better chances and tested their keeper whereas I don’t think Alex McCarthy has had a save to make in the last two games.

“At the top end of the pitch, it’s about taking chances when we create them and I feel we’re showing a little bit of anxiety in those moments.

“Our home form is something that is irritating everybody at the moment and we just can’t seem to get that feeling of anxiety that we have where we just can’t get the ball over the line so that will change.

“I think everybody saw today we were fully committed to what we’re trying to do.”

“It’s disappointing once again in respect of not getting what we deserved, we had 22 shots and we weren’t able to convert any of them.

“At the end of the day it’s back-to-back clean sheets, but at the top end of the pitch we need to start scoring goals.

“Clearly we are creating chances, right at the death we had a good chance for Shane, there were balls bobbling around the box, but sometimes you need something to go in off someone’s backside and the football gods aren’t smiling on us at the moment.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Southampton 0 Newcastle 0 

Possession was Southampton 50% Newcastle 50%

Total shots were  Southampton 22 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Southampton 4 Newcastle 0

Corners were  Southampton 7 Newcastle 2

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame (Ki 76), Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Rondon 69), Muto (Atsu 80)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Joselu, Manquillo

Crowd: 30,736(NUFC 2,450)

(Sorry but Rafa talking nonsense after this shocker of a match – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Southampton match HERE)

(Match ratings for all Toon players HERE)


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks