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Soccer-Downbeat Benitez in the dark about Newcastle signings
August 20, 2017 / 3:58 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer-Downbeat Benitez in the dark about Newcastle signings

HUDDERSFIELD, England, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez offered little hope to the club’s fans after a second straight loss in the Premier League, having made no secret of his disappointment at the club’s failure to make significant moves in the transfer market.

Newcastle fell to a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Sunday in a meeting of two promoted clubs, having also lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur last week.

While Huddersfield are clearly riding the wave of their promotion through the playoffs, Newcastle who won the second tier Championship last season, finishing 13 points ahead of the Yorkshire club, appear to have none of that buzz.

“It was a long time ago,” was all Spaniard Benitez would say when asked if the momentum of promotion had been lost.

In the build up to the game he had talked, yet again, about his unhappiness with the club’s lack of activity in the transfer market.

It has been the issue that has surrounded United’s return to the top flight and their lack of invention and craft against David Wagner’s side served only to emphasise even further their need for some new additions.

Asked directly if that game had highlighted that requirement, Benitez replied: “I don’t know,” and he offered little extra when pushed.

“No news. I haven’t read the newspapers, we will have to wait. Obviously we are working behind the scenes trying to do things but I don’t know what our position is at the moment,” he said.

The club’s former striker Alan Shearer had tweeted after the match that on the evidence of the first two games it was going to be a long, hard season for Newcastle.

Benitez did not disagree but said he felt there would be an improvement as his team got used to playing in the top flight again and that they would be good enough to survive.

“Hopefully yes because I think we will improve... we will need time but we will improve,” he said.

“We have to keep working as hard as we did today and to play better if we can. It is something we have to learn every week,” he added.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager spoke with little enthusiasm and asked about his mood had another short response: “I’m not happy because we have lost two games.” (Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)

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