February 21, 2018

Rafael Benitez played role in Newcastle win at Swansea from sickbed

11 September 2017, 12:48 | Marlene Fleming

Rafael Benitez played role in Newcastle win at Swansea from sickbed

Paul Clement unhappy with another home defeat

Benitez may not be in the dugout for Sunday's match following recent hernia surgery, which means his assistant Miguel Moreno could be in charge at the Liberty Stadium.

For Benítez, the outcome was just what the doctor ordered.

Despite suffering back-to-back losses to Tottenham and Huddersfield upon returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking following relegation at the end of the 2015-16 season, a win over West Ham ensured they got back on their feet.

"I'm finding it hard to understand why I saw what I saw".

"He has been active in the game and kept in touch with us throughout the game. It is a performance I am not proud of", he told Sky Sports News.

"After the game, Rafa rang us and congratulated all the team because they did a fantastic job".

"Although the margin of the defeat is small I am more disappointed with our performance".

The Welsh football legend thought Sanches had what it took to fit in with United's style, he said: "I remember looking at him and instantly liking him".

Philippe Coutinho out, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on bench for Liverpool
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The Magpies will play at home against Stoke City on Saturday in their next Premier League game.

"Then there's the reality of going out and playing and for me, we were second-best all afternoon - in the combats, the duels, the first and second balls, in the tactics, in all aspects".

Swansea should have taken the lead on the hour mark when Leroy Fer released Abraham, and the striker rounded Elliot for what looked a simple finish.

"They're a good, well organised side but we should have done better, there's no question about that".

But Lascelles raced back to clear off the line and the centre-back went from match-saver to match-winner when he headed home Matt Ritchie's corner.

A win over Swansea could further help boost confidence, but a loss would only complicate matters for Newcastle and its management.

Wilfried Bony, another deadline-day signing, had replaced Sanches by that stage but starved of service, the Ivorian had little chance to make an impact on the game as Swansea ran out of ideas. "But, at the same time, we've got to wake up quickly".

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