Newcastle defender Paul Dummett explains what Rafael Benitez has been working on with the defence

St James Park

The Magpies appear to have become a much more difficult side to break down since the Spaniard arrived.

Paul Dummett has explained that Rafael Benitez has been working with Newcastle's defenders and has told them to be more compact, the Chronicle reports.

Only already-relegated Aston Villa have conceded more times than the Magpies in the Premier League this season, but Benitez appears to have been able to create a much tougher unit since his arrival, especially considering that the likes of Rob Elliot, Daryl Janmaat and Fabricio Coloccini have all been sidelined with injury. 

And Dummett has explained how Benitez has helped create a better defensive unit.

"For me personally he talks about the positioning with each player and he works with the back four a lot," he told the Chronicle.

"He tells us to be together and be more compact. Any manager has different opinions and growing up as players it can only help you learn from them. It will help me get better as a player too."

Though they conceded twice inside the first half-hour in their last game, against Liverpool, they appear to have been showing much more fight in recent weeks, keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 win over Swansea and battling to a 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

And the Spaniard will be desperate that the defence continue to show that level of fight in the coming weeks as it could be crucial to their hopes of picking up the points they need from their final three games of the season to secure their top flight survival.

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