Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez defends this aspect of his management

Newcastle United's Aleksandar Mitrovic looks dejected

Newcastle were beaten in disappointing style as Blackburn Rovers left St James' Park three valuable points.

Newcastle were unable to make it 10 wins from 10 at the weekend as struggling Blackburn Rovers battled to a surprise 1-0 victory.

It was an incredibly disappointing way for the Magpies to slump to their first defeat since September with the fans citing the questionable rotation of the side that Rafael Benitez decided to implement. However, the manager vehemently defended this process, as reported by the Chronicle.

Charlie Mulgrew's strike with 15 minutes to go settled the contest on Saturday as the Magpies saw their lead in the Championship cut to just two points. However, after their start to the season, in which they lost their first two games, the fans will be ecstatic with their team's progression as they remain the side to beat in the league.

Newcastle United manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

One slight area of contention amongst the fans is the rotation policy their manager chose the enforce at the weekend. In particualr, Benitez chose to drop the league's top scorer Dwight Gayle and captain Jamaal Lascelles. This seemed to disrupt the flow of the team as they struggled for fluency. However, in an interview with the Chronicle, Rafael Benitez defended his rotation policy: "Yeah, we were successful making changes before, so we have to do it. I think we have a squad that’s been competing really well. On Saturday we had some injury problems with players like Jack Colback and others had to play".

“Christian Atsu, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Isaac Hayden, Chancel Mbemba and Ayoze Perez had to play. I think people will always say when something is wrong that it was the substitutions or the changes but we have had the same situation before when we were winning".

“For me there have been a lot of negatives with the way the game was going on and we didn’t manage properly".

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Benitez is of course correct in his claims as he needs to use all of his squad for a number of different reasons, ranging from players becoming fatigued and also wanting to keep the fringe players match fit and ready. 

In a home game against Blackburn Rovers, it seemed like the ideal game to do this and let his star men rest. The only reason that it seems like it was such a damaging loss was because they missed out on their 10th win in a row.

Newcastle now face an EFL Cup Quarter-final against Hull on Tuesday evening with a place in the Semi-final up for grabs. Perhaps Benitez's rotation policy will pay dividends in their latest cup game.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch