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  • By Charlie Stong

Benitez upbeat despite loss

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez said it could still be considered a positive week despite suffering late heartache at Wembley against Spurs.

The Spaniard praised his players, especially Jemaal Lascelles, who was excellent at the back for the Geordies.

Speaking with the midweek victory over Manchester City in mind, Benitez said: “Today I am disappointed, but overall it is (a positive week).

“To get three points against Manchester City is great for us and we have two new players who can help the team in attack, so overall you have to say it is positive.

“I am really pleased with the attitude of the players, especially in defence. We have to improve but against a team which is on top of you it is not easy.

“I am really pleased with (Lascelles) but also for everyone around him. Everyone worked very hard in defence and Jemaal was just one of them

“I don’t blame anyone for the goal, anyone can make a mistake but it is a goal we could avoid.”

“In the beginning of the second half we had two good chances. The substitutions they can make made a difference but I have to give credit to my players for the great effort.”

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