Rafa Benitez reveals why he’s not concerned by Newcastle’s defensive errors

Ayoze Perez revels in his first-minute opener for Newcastle at Norwich

Ayoze Perez revels in his first-minute opener for Newcastle at Norwich

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Rafa Benitez says he’s NOT worried about the defensive errors committed by Newcastle United at Carrow Road.

The Championship leaders held Norwich City to a 2-2 draw last night.

Newcastle gifted Alex Neil’s side their two first-half goals after taking an early lead through an Ayoze Perez goal.

But they fought back strongly after the break and captain Jamaal Lascelles claimed a point with a late volley.

Perez netted after 23 seconds, but United’s performance quickly unravelled.

“It was a great start to the game,” said manager Benitez.

“We scored the goal and had another chance, and were doing really well. After, we made some mistakes and that gave them the belief that they could get a result.

“Then, we needed to react and we needed a response. The way the players responded in the second half was brilliant.”

Lascelles slipped for Norwich’s first goal and was involved in the mix-up with Darlow that led to their second strike, scored by Cameron Jerome.

Asked what he said to them at the break, Benitez said: “I didn’t have to lift them, I just told them to forget about their mistakes and concentrate on the next 45 minutes because we were doing well and we could win the game.

“I told them the past had gone, and they just had to concentrate on what was still to come. We did well.

“We have not had too many games where we have made mistakes like that, so that is why you cannot be too worried about them.

“OK, it is bad, and it is something you don’t like to see, but because it is not normal.

“It is something we have to forget about quickly. We will analyse why it happened, but once we know why, we will just concentrate on the reaction and the positives to come out of the game.”

Newcastle had late chances to win the game, but goalkeeper John Ruddy was equal to efforts from Perez and Jonjo Shelvey.

“I thought we deserved to win,” said Benitez. “Maybe they will think the opposite, but we had so many chances.

“We hit the post twice, and had so many other chances. The way we were playing at the start, it is just a shame that we made the mistakes to let the other team score. We created chances and did well.”