Rafa Benitez Says Newcastle United Deserved to Be Beaten After Lacklustre Display Against West Brom

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Rafa Benitez was not a happy man after watching his Newcastle side lose to West Brom on Saturday.

The Magpies were the victims of a 1-0 defeat at home against the relegation-doomed Baggies, going down to Matt Phillips’ strike in the first half.

The win has delayed what should be an inevitable drop down to the Championship for the Hawthorns side. And with Chelsea also winning 1-0 later on, Swansea were unable to affect them.

Speaking after the loss, the Spanish boss congratulated his players for having a good season, but blasted them for playing a “relaxed” game, given their safety in the top flight.

“I congratulate the players for a good season but we needed to be better than that today,” he said to Match of the Day (H/T Chronicle Live).

“The target was to stay up but if we can finish ninth we want to do that. It was the kind of game you don’t want to see from your team…

“Especially when you are playing to avoid relegation, you don’t want to see these performances, but when you are safe – you also don’t want to see that.

“Sometimes your players are a little bit relaxed…but they were playing with anxiety – anxiety at this stage of the season, when we have done so well, is something you can’t understand.

“We made too many mistakes, the wrong decision all the time and that is the reason why we lost the game.

“We were not playing well but you have to give credit to them because they were working hard in the position that they were, they were trying their best, they needed to win. For us, it was question of trying to play well, do the fight things.

“Everything was wrong from the first minute and we tried to correct things at half-time. In the second half we were playing too direct, too many crosses without good positions, so we were not winning any second balls.

“We were giving the ball away every single time in easy positions, without too much pressure, so when you play like that you have to lose.”

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