Rafael Benitez describes Newcastle's first-half display against Southampton in one word

Rafael Benitez suggested that Newcastle's first-half performance against Southampton was 'terrible'.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has told Sky Sports that his side were 'terrible' in the first half of today's defeat against Southampton.

The Magpies went into the game knowing that they were running out of time to save themselves from relegation, but they didn't play like a team urgently bidding for survival.

Shane Long opened the scoring for Southampton after just four minutes, and his fellow striker Graziano Pelle added the second just seven minutes before half time.

Victor Wanyama added a third after the break, and whilst Andros Townsend did pull back a second half consolation for Newcastle, it was another dismal away day for the Magpies.

With Norwich losing 1-0 at Crystal Palace, Newcastle still sit six points adrift of safety, and manager Rafael Benitez knows that he is running out of games to keep the club in the Premier League.

After the final whistle, Benitez spoke to Sky Sports about the result, and described his side's first-half performance in just one word; terrible.

Benitez added that his players started to perform in the second half, but that isn't good enough, and in future they must start better to stand a chance of picking up points.

"The first half was terrible," said Benitez. "Then we had to improve, and we waited until in the second half to change things. We cannot wait. It has been the same situation in other games, so we have to start the game with the same intensity and the same character and passion that we had in the second half."

What did you think of Newcastle's performance against Southampton?

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