Rafael Benitez urges his Newcastle team to return to winning ways at St James' Park
Last Updated: 03/11/17 4:01pm
Rafael Benitez has told his Newcastle team to forget Monday night's defeat at Burnley and focus instead on returning to winning ways in Saturday's visit of struggling Bournemouth.
The Magpies are unbeaten at St James' Park since losing their first match of the season against Tottenham in August, picking up three wins and a draw with Liverpool in their next four home games.
Meanwhile, Eddie Howe's misfiring Bournemouth have scored just six times from their opening 10 Premier League fixtures and head to the north-east above only Crystal Palace in the table.
"I like to have a good record at home and away," said Benitez ahead of the Cherries' visit. "Last year in the Championship our away record was fantastic, at home we had more problems.
"If you compare [that] with this year we are good at home and not the best away so we have to improve both but try to ensure we do well at home, 50,000 fans will be very happy.
"If we do well away the fans that are there will be happy but the rest of the fans will also be happy.
"For us it doesn't matter if it is at home or away but if you have more people there, close to you, and you can win, it's much better."
United are currently ninth, five points outside the top four, and the Spaniard added: "I have told the players something they already know - we have to have perspective. Nobody was expecting we would be in the top 10.
"We are much better than people were expecting. It could be better, but it could be worse. We have to improve the team every week."
Benitez also admitted there was no way back for midfielder Jack Colback at the club despite a lower back injury to Mikel Merino which could keep him out for several weeks.
Latest signing Mikel Merino is potentially missing for several weeks with a lower back problem but Colback, a man who was called into the England squad back in 2014, will not be drafted back into the senior United set-up.
"He's training in the academy with Under-23s," Benitez said of Colback. "He knows what the situation is and we will continue working with the players we have available now.
"He knew from the beginning we have four or five midfielders and I didn't want to have six. We couldn't manage to move any more players out at the end of the transfer window or find teams for them, and you can't train as well with too many players around in the same position. I didn't want that.
"Without Merino, we can play Mo Diame, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Henri Saivet - even Chancel Mbemba played as a midfielder at the African Cup of Nations.
"It's not a situation that for games, you will not have players, I think we have enough bodies."
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