Rafael Benitez issued a familiar plea for backing in the transfer window after Newcastle United sleepwalked to a 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
The Magpies ended a run of five home defeats on the bounce against former manager Chris Hughton’s men, but looked bereft of ideas for the most part.
Karl Darlow and Mat Ryan were barely tested at either end, leaving Newcastle just a point above the drop zone ahead of a potentially pivotal January, which could see transfer strategy battling for attention with a prospective takeover at St James’ Park.
“We are not happy because we wanted to win,” Benitez told Sky Sports. “We created a little bit, but not too much.
“They were well organised, difficult to break down – their keeper made couple of saves. It could be better for us but I would also say they did well.
“They managed the tempo of the game and controlled what they wanted. It is a pity but at least the team was fighting and giving everything like they are doing every game.
FULL TIME Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton
It ends goalless at St. James’ Park and both sides are forced to settle for a point.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 30, 2017
“You have to try and get three points from these types of games. In the second half we had more chances, we were pushing hard. That was a positive thing. The bad thing is we have to win these games.
“We will try to improve but some help would be positive.”
Newcastle were booed off after failing to score at home for a third outing in succession.
“The fans are amazing for the team, they have to be behind the team all the time,” Benitez added.
“If you cannot win a game that everyone expects to win you have to be disappointed, but they know that these players are giving everything.”
Benitez’s counterpart Hughton thought his side had shaded the contest, having forced Darlow into saves through Anthony Knockaert and Lewis Dunk.
Hughton told BBC Sport: “I thought over the 90 minutes we were the better side. Not many chances in it and you could sense the nervousness in front of goal from both sides but we were very worthy of the point and probably deserved a bit more.
“We had really good periods of possession in both halves and those are the moments you have to get your goal. A difficult game, never an easy one here and I’m reasonably satisfied with the point.”
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