Newcastle Manager Rafa Benitez Commends His Side's Character After West Brom Comeback

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez hailed his team's character after coming back from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with West Brom at the Hawthorns on Tuesday evening.

His team went behind after goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Field but managed a last half hour recovery through goals from Ciaran Clark and a deflected Matt Ritchie free-kick off Salomon Rondon.

Speaking to The Mirror in his post-match press conference, Benitez said: "The reaction of the team was really good. The players reacted and were working really hard.

"As soon as we scored the first goal we were back in the game and perhaps could have won the game but there was not enough time. At 2-0 down it was very positive and the way we played in the last few minutes much better.

"You could see character, work-rate and commitment and good play. We didn't deserve to lose the four games but it is something you cannot change."

Benitez made some wholesale changes after the weekend's terrible 3-0 defeat at home to Watford, bringing in Mikel Merino, Isaac Hayden, Chancel Mbemba, Ayoze Perez and Karl Darlow. 

On his squad depth, Benitez added: "Now everybody knows everyone can play."

Benitez was also quoted in The Chronicle expressing his dissatisfaction at the way his team allowed the Baggies to score two easy goals from crosses.

"I am disappointed and pleased at the same time. I’m disappointed because we had control in the first half, and had the game under control. Then we conceded another late goal.

"We were talking about that - learning from the mistakes of the past and to be more focused in the last minutes. We conceded and went in at half-time 1-0 down and with the feeling all the hard work was for nothing.

"The second goal was even worse with the feeling that the mistake cost us. Not because it was a bad mistake, it was just conceding that second goal."

The draw was Newcastle's first game without a loss in five Premier League matches as they look to steer clear of the relegation zone going into a tough December schedule.