Rafa Benitez says Newcastle are moving in the right direction despite slow start

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Several changes have been made at the club during the summer, but Newcastle are still looking for their first point of the new season.

Newcastle United manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has said he feels the club is moving in the right direction despite losing their opening two games of the Championship season. 

The Magpies started off the campaign as odds-on favourites to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking but have failed to pick up any points from their opening two games having been beaten by Fulham and then Huddersfield Town. 

Newcastle United manager Rafa BenitezNewcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Benitez isn't hitting the panic button, telling the Chronicle: “We know it is a long competition, but what we have to do is put a lot of things right. We need to keep working.

“We changed a lot of things this summer, and we still think we are going in the right direction. Now we have to prove these things on the pitch.

“We have to move the ball quicker and beat players in the wide areas. We don’t have the target man so we can’t play long balls all the time then see what happens.

Newcastle United's Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring their first goal with Jamaal LascellesNewcastle United's Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring their first goal with Jamaal Lascelles

“We can change our style if necessary depending on what players we have on the pitch. What we did well was to improve in the second half and react."

Newcastle will be hoping to kick-start their campaign this evening on Tyneside when they take on Reading. 

Given they were such heavy favourites to return to the top flight, many people will have expected Newcastle to have six points from their opening two games rather than none - but Benitez seems to be taking the 'it's a marathon not a sprint' approach. 

There's also an acknowledgement that sides are going to try and frustrate Newcastle given the onus is on them to win games perhaps more than any other side in the division. 

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez talks to fourth official Graham SalisburyNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez talks to fourth official Graham Salisbury

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