Rafa Benitez laments Newcastle's bad luck in Everton defeat
Last Updated: 13/12/17 11:35pm
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez cursed his side's bad luck after Everton inflicted a seventh defeat in eight games courtesy of Wayne Rooney's strike at St James' Park.
The Magpies are now just a point above the relegation zone ahead of a daunting trip to face Arsenal this weekend, but they were unfortunate not to take anything from their latest setback.
Matt Ritchie and Mikel Merino both struck the woodwork in the first half while Rooney's fifth goal in four league matches came as a result of a bad error from goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Uncertainty remains over whether Benitez will have increased transfer funds in the January window -
- after Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners increased their offer to buy the club from Mike Ashley earlier on Wednesday - but the Spaniard was left to reflect on another disappointing result on the pitch.
He said: "It's a bad result, but the performance of the team (was good). It's difficult to believe that we lost 1-0.
"We had so many chances and we had so much control in the second half. They were happy with the result and they were defending, trying to play counter-attack and waste time.
"We have to manage these situations in another way after losing another game having tried so many different ways to win. We continue to make some mistakes and we've paid for that.
"After hitting the crossbar and then the post, you can see we were really unlucky, and the way we conceded the goal, even more."
Newcastle have now lost four consecutive home league games for the first time since April 2015 under John Carver while Everton celebrated a first away league win since January, ending a run of 16 matches without a victory on the road.
Sam Allardyce's men did not have to defend too resolutely in order to see out the game, and Benitez admits his side must show greater maturity when put in a position of chasing games.
"The goal changed everything," he added. "But they had experience to manage the game, to delay everything. We have a team that has to learn and gain experience.
"We knew before what we need (in the transfer window) so now it's the same situation. The players tried their best but it's a pity as they had some bad luck and the error made the difference."
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