Rafa Benitez reminds Newcastle squad to play for their futures after West Brom defeat
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 28/04/18 7:41pm
Rafa Benitez issued a timely reminder to his Newcastle players after Saturday's defeat to bottom-club West Brom that their futures could be under review this summer.
The Magpies secured their top-flight status with four straight wins in March and April but back-to-back defeats to Everton and the Baggies have threatened to overshadow their hard work.
Speaking after the game to Sky Sports, a frustrated Benitez demanded his players finish the season as strong as possible.
"After the great season we have done, it's a pity to see this kind of game," he said.
"For some players, they have to realise we have to think about the future. We cannot finish in a bad way.
"We have three games to play and we have to replicate what we did over the whole season.
"We have done really well and have to try and do this until the end."
Matt Phillips scored the only goal of the game at St James' Park to give the Baggies a glimmer of hope in their unlikely survival bid.
Newcastle struck the post and saw Ben Foster pull off a stunning save to keep a Dwight Gayle header out, but they were brief highs in a lacklustre performance.
Despite being able to take comfort from the fact their top-flight status is secure, Benitez accused his players of failing to carry out the pre-match plan.
"The players knew this could be this kind of game when the job is done and the other team need to win," the Spaniard added.
"A draw wasn't enough for them, they needed to win to stay alive and keep fighting.
"We made so many mistakes that gave them the chance to score and win the game. We gave the ball away easily, didn't understand how to attack a team that defended well and didn't stop the counter attacks.
"Many things we have been doing well this season went wrong today."