By Russell Edge

13th Nov, 2017 | 12:41pm

'It depends' - Benitez makes honest admission about surprise Newcastle decision

By Russell Edge

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has said that he could continue to utilise a 4-4-2 formation after he made use of it in the 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

The Spanish boss has established a reputation of sticking to his guns and playing a 4-2-3-1 formation for much of his time on Tyneside, so his decision to start both Joselu and Dwight Gayle against the Cherries came as a surprise to many.

However, while the match at St James’ Park ended in defeat for Newcastle, thanks to a last minute winner for Eddie Howe’s side, Benitez has insisted that fans could well see the same approach for future matches if he has the right players at his disposal.

He told the Chronicle: “I was not unhappy with the formation. It is more about the players you have available.

“It depends on the job they have to do and the characteristics of the players.

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“The players who are not playing at the moment have to carry on training and training hard and then if they get an opportunity, make the most of it.”

Newcastle will hope to bounce back from two successive 1-0 defeats, having also lost away at Burnley, when they travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United, who currently sit second in the Premier League table.

The Magpies find them nine places behind the Red Devils in 11th, but know that victory against Jose Mourinho’s side could lift them as high as eighth, while a third consecutive defeat may result in them slipping as far as 15th.

In other Newcastle United news, a reliable journalist has delivered a critical report on a potential takeover.

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