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Rafa Benitez admits concerns

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has expressed his dissatisfaction with the first half performance in the friendly against Doncaster Rovers last night.

Andy Williams scored two goals in the first half for the home side at the Keepmoat stadium as Rovers went in 2-0 at the break. Although Newcastle recovered in the second half with two goals from Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez making the final score 2-2, Benitez was quoted by the Shields Gazette as saying that improvement is needed at the back:

“It was a massive mistake for both goals. The good thing is that we can analyse these things now and try to find the reason why, and then the solutions. It is a friendly, but the feeling from the second half was much better and that is what we have to do. The first half is something that we have to improve for sure.”

The imminent signing of Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers for £5.5million will certainly help matters, but it may well be the case that Benitez wants to see further defensive cover to come in before the end of the transfer window. Sheffield Wednesday’s Tom Lees and Derby County’s Richard Keogh have also been linked with the Magpies in recent days as the club look to replace experienced players Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor who have left this summer.

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