Rafa Benitez Bemoans the One Mistake That Cost Newcastle in Narrow Burnley Defeat

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was left disappointed after one mistake punished his Newcastle side as they lost 1-0 to Burnley in a tight match at Turf Moor.

The Magpies held on until the 74th minute, when Ayoze Perez gave the ball away and Jeff Hendrick powered home to make the Spaniard pay.


Speaking to the Northern Echo, Benitez said: "We made a mistake and after that we were out of position. We didn’t do what we had to do. We could have done better. We had attempts after that but in this game you have to be strong enough in defence and better in attack. You need more chances. They took advantage of that.

"The thing is, it was an even game, we could have won or lost. One mistake and it happened. One mistake and after that we pushed and had chances, but it shows in these games that you can’t give the ball away like we did."

Burnley leapfrogged Newcastle into seventh after their victory, but had the Magpies been able to gain all three points, they would have risen to sixth themselves, much to Rafa's disappointment. 

“We know the league is difficult, it is a long race, but we have a game Saturday and we have to make sure mentally we are ready. We have to make sure we are more confident than today, we need to settle down and be ready.

“Obviously eyes are on Saturday now, but I am disappointed with these games because we can win these games."

Newcastle welcome Bournemouth to St James Park on Saturday, and Benitez remained tight-lipped on whether Spanish midfield maestro Mikel Merino would be available after missing out on Monday with a back problem.

“We have to wait to see and he will see a specialist, we will see how he feels. We will see what the specialist says after a couple of days to see we have the right decision.”