Benitez reveals why Newcastle home form is poor ahead of Forest clash
By Emma Sanders
Rafa Benitez claims other sides “try that bit harder” when they come to St James’ Park and that his side still haven’t figured out how to counter that, ahead of the clash against Nottingham Forest on Friday evening.
The Newcastle boss admitted sides were coming to St James’ Park with extra motivation to win because of their position in the Championship table.
The Magpies have led the way for the majority of the 2016-17 season but they currently sit in second place in the table after suffering a home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday on Monday evening.
Newcastle could move back into the top spot with victory on Friday night but Benitez admitted in the Chronicle that his side still have to “learn how to cope” with opposition approaches in home games.
“We know it’s a difficult league,” said Benitez, “and when teams come to our stadium they try that bit harder, they play very compact and narrow and play on the counter attack.
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“We have to learn how to cope with these games. If you cannot win, you must draw. It is something we still have to learn.
“We have to manage these games better, when you are waiting for a chance, you have to be patient, more precise,” added Benitez.
“Away the other team have to attack you, you have more space, at home you have to take more responsibility and we have to manage things better, with more pace be more precise and not give other teams the hope they can score.”
Newcastle’s last home victory came earlier this month with a comfortable 4-0 win over Birmingham but they have lost two of their last three fixtures at St James’ Park.
According to the Chronicle they are just eighth in the Championship ‘home’ table but have six points more than any other team in the Championship on their travels.
They currently sit just two points behind Brighton in second place and six points ahead of Reading, while opponents Forest are struggling near the bottom of the table in 18th place.
In other Newcastle news, fans urged the club on Twitter to sign this former star on loan.