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Benitez praises Newcastle defender after making rare appearance

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has reflected on right back Jesus Gamez’s performance against Reading on Tuesday night.

Regulars in the position this season DeAndre Yedlin and Vurnon Anita were not fit to start the match at the Madejski stadium so the Spaniard was given only his second league start of the season in the 0-0 draw. Benitez told BBC Radio Newcastle (quotes via the Shields Gazette) that he thinks the 31 year old acquitted himself well despite a long spell out of the team:

“He knows his job. Defensively, it was not an easy game, because they have some pace. But I think he was OK. “When you have a new player playing, you cannot expect that he will be the best in the team, but I think he did fine.”

Gamez signed on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid at the start of the season but has struggled with injuries. The last time he was named in the starting eleven against Blackburn Rovers in November, he was stretchered off with a broken collarbone.

He returned to the starting lineup for the 3-0 defeat against Oxford United in the FA Cup in late January, but remained as an unused substitute until the stalemate against Reading. He has managed just five appearances in all competitions for the Magpies.

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