Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez looks back on the game and praises his players for emerging stronger after tough Cardiff tactics
Rafa Benitez says that Newcastle United had no choice but to adapt to Cardiff City’s physical style of play during their 2-1 win at St James’ Park.
The victory leaves the Magpies eight points clear in an automatic promotion spot but Benitez admitted afterwards it had been a test.
After his eighth win in a row, Benitez said: “In football if you play well you will have more chances to win more games. Sometimes you cannot because the other team is physically strong or aggressive.
“If the referee allows this type of contact you have to play and you have to adapt. If you can do that it means you are stronger.
“Sometimes you can play passing or sometimes you have to play more direct and you have to defend. That means to me you are getting stronger.”
Benitez wanted to see more from his team in the second half though, and added: “I was not very happy because we had to defend too much.
“But all I can say is that if the referee allows this type of situation you just have to defend, and can’t complain too much.
“You have to be sure you prepare your team for these type of things in the future. We did it this year in a lot of games and we did it today. I would like to play like we did in the first half. We were creating chances and taking them more.
“Then you can enjoy the second half. But if you can’t at least you have to show character.”