Date: 12th March 2018 at 1:02am
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Following Saturday’s clash between Newcastle United and Southampton, here are the instant reactions from both managers.

Newcastle United hosted Southampton at St James’ Park on Saturday March 10, with the hosts taking a comfortable three nil victory.

Kenedy opened the scoring in the second minute of the game and as he completed his brace just ahead of the half hour mark he gifted Newcastle a two goal advantage. Just ahead of the hour mark Matt Ritchie made it three and tied the points up.

Newcastle eased their relegation worries with the three points and they now sit almost two games clear of the dropzone. Southampton’s situation gets worse however and Mauricio Pellegrino pulled few punches after the full time whistle.

Teams:

Newcastle:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey (Merino 83), Diame, Kenedy (Atsu 78), Perez, Gayle (Joselu 69).

Substitutes:

Clark, Murphy, Manquillo, Darlow.

Southampton:

McCarthy, Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand, Hojbjerg, Lemina (Sims 45), Ward-Prowse, Tadic (Long 45), Redmond, Carrillo (Gabbiadini 66).

Substitutes:

Romeu, Boufal, Bednarek, Forster.

Speaking to the BBC’s cameras a short time after match day referee Andre Marriner blew the final whistle, Newcastle gaffer Rafa Benitez explained.

‘We knew it was a massive game for us, against a team close to us in the table. We needed to do well. The players approached it well, the intensity they showed, they way they moved the ball, it was very pleasing. You need a bit of luck score early. We scored a second and needed the third just to kill the game. You could see the hard work they put in for the clean sheet. When you see the players working so hard, as a manager you have to be pleased. We know Southampton have most of possession in their games, and after the goal they had to take the risk and attack. So we can be organised. When you play against a team who have possession and pass a lot, you have to defend well and counter attack. Five points is good but there is still plenty to do. I have confidence in the team that we can do it.’

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino in his comparative interview explained.

‘The first goal in the first minute had a massive impact on my players. From this moment we could not react, the spirit of the team was really poor. Without spirit, without character, we can play badly and we can have a difficult day. We have to show the spirit and that’s the biggest problem today. I have not seen one game this season like this at all. When you do not play a good game, you have to show you are on the pitch, even running, even fighting, even playing football, and do the best we can. The worst thing was the attitude. We are in this position for a good reason, but we still have eight games and we are still alive. We have to say sorry to the fans. We did not represent the club with the values that the club has got.’

He added.

‘The spirit of the team and the attitude is everything. We have been talking about this a lot. You can have good players, you can have a budget, but without personality and spirit, it’s really difficult to compete at this level. When you concede in the first minute, you feel the game will be tough and every single negative impact is massive for you. I observed some players who gave up and we cannot show this. We were never a threat for Newcastle.’

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