By 90Min
December 31, 2017

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benítez has claimed that his side performed to the best of their ability, despite drawing 0-0 in the Premier League with Brighton. The Magpies failed to breakdown Chris Hughton's side's stubborn defence, with Seagulls stopper Matthew Ryan also making some big saves to thwart Newcastle's attempts to open the scoring.

Speaking after the tense draw, via Sky Sports, Benítez admitted he was frustrated not to claim the three points at St James' Park, but contended that his team did well against a well organised and stubborn Brighton side. The former Real Madrid manager said:

"Obviously we are not happy because we wanted to win. We created a little bit, but not too much, and they were well organised, so it was difficult to break them down.

"Their goalkeeper still made a couple of saves and it could be better for us, but I would say they (Brighton) were maybe doing well, they managed the tempo of the game and they were controlling what they wanted. Then we know they are dangerous at counter-attacks and set-pieces.

"It's a pity (we drew) but at least the team was fighting and giving everything like they do in every game. I think in the second half, we had more chances and we were pushing harder so this is the positive thing. The reaction of the team is that if something is wrong then they don't give up and they continue, so that is a positive too."

Despite a large section of the St James' Park faithful becoming vocal over their frustrations with the side's performance, Benítez still expressed his admiration for the supporters, claiming:

"I think the fans are amazing for the team and they have to be behind the team all the time. When you don't win a game that everyone is suspecting that you have to win, then they have to be disappointed but at the same time, they know that these players are giving everything."

Newcastle play their next match against Stoke City, and will be hopeful of getting a result after seeing Mark Hughes' side being put to the sword in their 5-0 hammering by Chelsea. The Toon's draw with Brighton leaves them in 16th place in the table - just one point off the dreaded relegation zone.

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