Rafa Benitez puts Fulham result into context
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Rafa Benitez puts Fulham result into context

Newcastle United missed the chance to open up a seven-point gap between themselves and the bottom three, however, Benitez was still happy to take a point.

Aaron Hindhaugh

Newcastle United had to settle for a point at home to the worst defence in the Premier League and could not manage a single shot on target.

Despite that, Rafa Benitez was still happy as his side managed to keep a sixth clean sheet of the season and without his players having a shot on target they did create some good chances.

The Magpies now sit five points above the drop zone and Benitez wanted to get that positive message across to fans.

A positive outlook

With Fulham having the worst defence in the league it would have bee worrying for the Geordies to see their team struggle once again at home in front of goal.

Benitez wanted to keep fans thinking positively as they look to kick on after Christmas as they travel to Anfield on Boxing day.

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The Spaniard told The Chronicle: "In the second half, the game was more or less in our hands.

"When I say that, I mean we were controlling."

Home form is a concern

Benitez acknowledged that Fulham were very well organised and difficult to break down.

"You will say, 'Oh, but you were not creating clear chances' – OK, we had some of them, but when a team is organised and with a lot of players close to the box, it's not easy to create clear chances."

"They changed to five at the back, they were quite difficult to break down, but still we were more or less in control and everything they did in the first half especially was coming from our mistakes when we were giving the ball away.

Newcastle were in control for the majority of the game but there were too many sloppy passes that kept slowing the game down.

Poor in the final third 

The Spaniard knows his side are not the most clinical side in the relegation battle, but they may be the best defensive side in the bottom half of the table.

Benitez knows if he gets the singings he requires in January he will be able to confidently keep Newcastle in the Premier League, if not it will be another tense end to the season.

"We have to be more precise in the final third to make sure that the striker has more chances or more clear chances."

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"Even today against a well-organised team, it's not easy, but still we can do a little bit better in the final third and then we will have better chances and we will score more goals."

New additions needed 

Benitez told the board after the Summer transfer window that winning games would be a struggle after Mike Ashley refused to back the Spaniard once again in a transfer window.

"I said after August 31, that is something that can happen."

"We are playing against teams that spent so much money."

"But we have to carry on and be sure that we create more chances because we need more chances to score more goals."