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Rafa Benitez “A replay is bad news”

2 months ago
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Rafa Benitez was clearly not a happy man after the final whistle.

His team coming from a goal behind to equalise with a Matt Ritchie penalty.

However, even the goal that levelled things with six minutes to go was a negative for the Newcastle boss.

It means that a replay now takes place in the midweek before the Magpies face Cardiff at St James Park, arguably the only game in the next month where Newcastle are likely to get any Premier League points.

No wonder Rafa Benitez declared after the final whistle: ‘A reply is bad news’.

To make matters worse, none of the fringe/young players suggested they had anything to offer in the relegation struggle.

Maybe the biggest positive being that Florian Lejeune came through the 90 minutes and did OK.

Rafa Benitez:

“A replay is bad news because we have to play another game but we will try to play in the best way possible…

“It is now another situation we have to manage, use more players, more risk.

“We have to take some positives…

“At home we have to try to finish and we didn’t play at the level we expected but I was pleased with the reaction (After Blackburn scored)

“We tried and they pushed hard.

“You could see them running for every single ball.

“Overall the reaction was good in the final minutes and I will take that as a positive.

“Some players haven’t had a chance to play 90 minutes so it was an opportunity for them to show what they have and I think they worked hard.

“You have to try to make the substitutions, how to change something, we tried to make something and have different characteristics on the pitch and we did.

“I am not happy with another game, I’d have preferred to win, but at least we get another chance.”

Did Blackburn target Freddie Woodman?

“The referee knows that in the second half the approach was different.

“I think sometimes we forget the rules when the ball goes into the six-yard box.

“We had to protect him in the second half.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Blackburn 1

Goals…

Newcastle – Ritchie 84 (Pen)

Blackburn – Dack 56

Possession was Blackburn 46% Newcastle 54%

Total shots were  Blackburn 7 Newcastle 19

Shots on target were Blackburn 3 Newcastle 9

Corners were  Blackburn 8 Newcastle 7

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo , Schar, Lejeune, Sterry, Ritchie, Longstaff (Perez 80), Hayden (Shelvey 57), Murphy (Atsu 75), Kenedy, Joselu

Unused Subs:

Harker, Clark, Yedlin, Rondon

Crowd: 36,440  (3,000 Blackburn)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction HERE)

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