More Protests Against Ashley

Supporters appreciate that Rafa Benitez didn’t get the level of investment he was hoping for during the summer transfer window, when Newcastle actually made a profit.

There was a further protest outside St James’ Park against Mike Ashley’s running of the club before the visit of Arsenal and the occasional derogatory chant inside directed at him from the stands.

Benitez, who has entered the final nine months of his contract and has no intention to sign an extension in the current climate, is now only concerned about turning Newcastle around knowing he can’t tinker with his squad until January.

He said: “To be fair we were thinking it could be something like that when you look at the games we had. At the same time, we knew we could be better in some of the games.

“It’s a little bit disappointing when you are so close in some games and you cannot get what you want, but the reality is that we’ve played five of the top six sides in the league. “And to be where we are may not be a surprise for a lot of people. But for us we know it’s difficult, but we still have to carry on.

“The fixtures is something you cannot control. All you can do is just be sure that when you approach the games you have the belief and the confidence to get something. That is the point. “The disappointment is because we were so close, against Tottenham and even Chelsea, so we have to manage these situations a little bit better. We will be a better team and get points against other teams.”