Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez says Brighton made it hard in draw

Mat Ryan Brighton

The summer move may have fallen through, but Newcastle now appear to have the ideal opportunity to finally land one of Benitez's long-term targets as they look to stay in the Premier League.

"I don't think they had too many, apart from set-pieces - we were expecting that they could be strong at set-pieces, but still they had maybe one and the rest of the game, without playing well, their keeper was busier than our keeper". It's a pity but at least the team was fighting and giving everything like they do in every game.

"You are a manager, you have a group of players, you have fans, the city, responsibility and then you make the decisions you have to make to win games and that's it". Ayoze Perez has failed to make that role his own; while Gayle and Joselu do seem to be developing an understanding, they were far too isolated for the most part.

Rafa Benitez has made SEVEN changes to his Newcastle United starting XI.

Toon stars Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle both forced Mat Ryan into superb second-half saves.

Meanwhile, former Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul is on Brighton's bench. Karl Darlow was in the home goal, replacing the injured Rob Elliot, and he was there to another threatening Brighton corner, when Dunk headed at goal.

A move to St. James' Park would give Kenedy a chance to play regularly, whilst offering Benitez another left back to compete with Paul Dummett - something he has been desperately lacking this season. Murray leads the Seagulls with five goals, while Groß has scored four times and added five assists.

Kenedy, 21, has played just 25 times for Chelsea since a 2015 move from Fluminense in his native Brazil, scoring just three goals as he has struggled to nail down a first-team spot under Antonio Conte.

Bournemouth's victory at Everton and Swansea's win over Watford spelt bad news for both sides, but Newcastle felt the brunt of it.



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