Benitez rues deadline-day blank '“ as QPR draw adds to disappointment

Rafa Benitez has told of his 'disappointment' at Newcastle United's failure to sign a player in the transfer window.

Thursday, 2nd February 2017, 7:15 am
Jonjo Shelvey fires Newcastle into an early lead against QPR. Picture by Frank Reid

Benitez’s side were held to a 2-2 draw by Queens Park Rangers at St James’s Park last night.

And the result left the club a point behind Championship leaders Brighton, who play their game in hand at Huddersfield tonight.

Newcastle’s bid to sign re-sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace on a loan with a view to a permanent move came to nothing in the final hours of the January window.

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“Obviously, I cannot change things now,” said manager Benitez.

“I have to concentrate on getting the best from my players.”

Benitez added: “We knew what we needed. We knew what we have.

“We have to bring the best from the players that we have.

“I am happy with them, then we have to try and maintain the same level we saw in the second half (against QPR).”

Asked what had happened on deadline day, Benitez said: “No, because don’t know.

“I said before, I’m disappointed, but at the same time I have to concentrate on the players we have and try have to improve them as much as I can.”

Jonjo Shelvey gave Newcastle a first-minute lead against QPR, who levelled before the break through Conor Washington.

Matt Ritchie restored United’s lead, but a 90th-minute own goal from Ciaran Clark saw the visitors claim a deserved point.

QPR manager Ian Holloway – who hailed Benitez has being “different class” after the game – felt the crowd was too “expectant”.

“A draw is not the end of the world, but some of their fans turned up expecting to win, you could sense that tonight” said Holloway.

“That shouldn’t be the case. They have to play their part, support the team, not just turn up, but, if I’m honest. We should have won.”

Holloway added: “The man himself (Benitez) is different class.”