Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Address 'Missing' Quality or Pay Price; Benitez: New Faces Can Halt Bad Form

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Address 'Missing' Quality or Pay Price; Benitez: New Faces Can Halt Bad Form

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

RAFA Benitez insists Newcastle United are "missing" quality in certain positions and must invest during the January transfer window if they are to arrest their alarming slide down the table.

The Magpies succumbed to an eighth defeat in nine matches with a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal and Benitez's men have won just once in 13 games.

United's defeat in north London, combined with positive results for some of their relegation rivals, saw Newcastle slip into the bottom three just a week before Christmas.

Newcastle had opportunities to score at the Emirates but failed to take them.

By contrast, Crystal Palace impressed in a 3-0 victory at Leicester City, something Benitez believes was largely down to their expensive strikeforce which includes Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and former Magpies' winger Andros Townsend.

He said: "We are where we are. We have to manage the situation the best way possible and the best way possible for me is to stay calm, keep working hard and try to get a result.

"If we get to January and we can add some players to give a lift to the rest of the team we have to do it.

"We knew we were missing in some positions and we have seen over the whole season what has happened. In some positions we need competition, we have to do it.

"If you analyse some of the teams at the bottom of the table you see the cost of the players they have.

"For example, look at Crystal Palace. Look at the four players they have up front and tell me how much they cost now. It is so simple when you look at things like that."

Benitez accepts the winter window is hard to navigate but stressed United's survival could depend upon the business they do next month.

"January is always difficult but we have to try to do the best for the team," the Spaniard added.

"I wanted to get to 20 points. I think it will be difficult if we do not start winning games but still I have confidence we can do it.

"Every game for us in important. When I came nearly two years ago, the team was at the bottom and everything was negative. …

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