By Matt Farr

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez was left frustrated by his side’s performance in their 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Monday.

The Magpies could not properly enforce their home advantage, and failed to find a way past a Sheffield Wednesday defence that has now conceded just eight goals in their last 10 games and kept clean sheets in their last three.

Glenn Loovens’ second-half header proved to be the difference between the two sides, and Benitez raised a number of concerns with his side’s performance.

The defeat saw Newcastle risk their lead at the top of the Championship, which they could lose if Brighton beat Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday.

The loss also brings to an end Newcastle’s three-match winning run, and it was their fourth home defeat of the season.

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Benitez told the Newcastle Chronicle: “We needed to score but we were a little bit anxious and made mistakes. We gave them too much space to play on the counter.

“Again, these are the types of games we have to manage because we are losing games that maybe you can draw or win. We have to learn that.

“Because we didn’t take our chances at the beginning they started having chances and creating problems in counter attacks. So I think we have to learn how to manage games.”

Despite the disappointing result, Benitez’s side remain the favourites to win promotion to the top-flight this season.

Brighton may take the advantage going into the next set of fixtures, but Chris Hughton’s side have been in a similar position in each of their last few seasons, yet have failed to go the distance.

Newcastle can avenge their defeat by bouncing back against Nottingham Forest on Friday. Forest are currently 18th in the league, and the two sides produced a heated affair in their last encounter.

Forest ran out 2-1 winners back on December 2, with both Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett getting sent-off for Newcastle, while Magpies stopper Karl Darlow also saved two penalties.

In other Newcastle news, Mick Quinn issued a damning verdict of Newcastle’s performance on Twitter.