Benitez uses three words to describe Newcastle defeat at Fulham

By Tom Blackburn

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez branded his side’s shock 1-0 loss to Fulham as a “wake up call”.

In the first game of the new Championship season, Matt Smith scored the only goal of the game with a powerful header just before half-time.

Talking to BBC Newcastle after the match, Benitez said the players were anxious ahead of the game and need to learn to manage their emotions.

“At the beginning we were nervous, in the second half we made the wrong decisions,” Benitez said.

“It’s a wake-up call. We will have games more difficult than this one.

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“If we play for something more important than the first game of the season, maybe the anxiety will be even higher. We need to make sure we can manage that and play better.”

Newcastle have been widely tipped to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking after suffering relegation last season.

The club managed to retain former Real Madrid boss Benitez after the Spaniard took over the team in March.

Owner Mike Ashley has also moved to strengthen the club and has sanctioned deals for eight players totalling £45.5million.

Newcastle last played in the Championship in the 2009-10 season finishing at the top of the league with an impressive 102 points.

In other Newcastle news, an attacking midfielder has revealed he is in talks with Newcastle about a possible transfer.