Rafa Benitez 'disappointed' by Newcastle United's lack of transfer activity

Rafa Benitez 'disappointed' by Newcastle United's lack of transfer activity

The Newcastle boss made it clear that he was disappointed and surprised after the club failed to bring in a new player in the January transfer window.

Andrew McDonnell

Rafa Benitez said he was “disappointed” after Newcastle United failed to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window.

The Magpies dropped points against Queens Park Rangers after Ciaran Clark’s late own goal condemned them to a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park.

Newcastle showed interest in bringing Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend back to the North East, but Benitez was left confused and frustrated as to why they didn’t bring any players into the club before Tuesday's deadline.

Benitez frustrated with transfer window

The former Real Madrid boss was asked whether he could say what went wrong on deadline day, he said: “No, because I don’t know.

“I said before, I’m disappointed but at the same time I have to concentrate on the players we have and try to improve them as much as I can."

Benitez was in contact with club officials throughout the day, but was still left surprised as to why no players arrived.

He added: “I was in communication with Lee (Charnley) all the time so I know more or less what we have done. Still I don’t know what happened.

“We knew what we needed. We knew what we have. We have to bring the best out of the players we have.”

Boss calls for club to stick together

The Magpies’ boss stated that he was “obviously” disappointed, but made it clear that he wants the club to remain as one as they try to make it back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He said: “What we have to do now is stick together. We have the fans. They have to realise that they have to support the team.

“The players have to realise they are the players we have. They can be very important for this club. If we are promoted, they will be famous, heroes, stick together.”

Benitez said he “can’t change” things that have happened and that he wants to move on to the next game against Derby County on Saturday afternoon.

Magpies made to rue missed chances

The Spaniard, who was asked whether he thought the own goal was down to a lack of communication, believes it was a hard delivery to deal with, and defended Clark’s decision to go for the ball.

He said: “It was very difficult because it was a flat ball and you have to decide quickly whether you head the ball or leave the ball for the ‘keeper.

“Sometimes it can happen. The main thing is that we didn’t take the chances we had. We didn’t need to think about it if we hadn’t concede in the last minute.”

Newcastle were made to rue their missed chances in the second-half, but Benitez paid credit to QPR, who continued to push and take the game to his team.