Rafael Benitez says Newcastle should always aim to be ambitious in cup competitions

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle crashed to a disappointing defeat against Hull City as their EFL Cup run came to an end.

It has been an odd week for Newcastle as they have fallen to two defeats in the space of four days.

Their loss to Blackburn was one that will have frustrated the fans most after Rafael Benitez made a host of changes, while their defeat to Hull was paritucalrly difficult to stomach after their penalty heartache.

While some might question whether Newcastle would really want to be adding more games to their packed schedule, Rafael Benitez admitted to the Chronicle that his players should always be ambitious when it comes to cup competitions.

Newcastle face a tough test on Friday evening as they travel to play Nottingham Forest. It is the third game they will have played in six days, meaning their already congested fixture list is only going to get worse.

On top of their tough run, the Magpies saw their lead at the top of the table cut to just two points as they were beaten by Blackburn and Brighton claimed another victory.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

After their loss to Hull in midweek, Rafael Benitez admitted that his players should always target success in the cups they play in, telling the Chronicle: "You never know in football, you never know what your targets could be.

"We think about winning every game here. In this case, we are disappointed because we played so well and you are out of a competition you probably deserve to have qualified in".

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez speaks with Ayoze Perez as Aleksandar Mitrovic prepares to come on as a substituteNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez (R)

Newcastle's ambition is obviously not solely the league as they will feel that they are still very strongly placed to gain promotion to the Premier League and, with the size of their squad, they should not confine themselves to winning the league.

However, perhaps in some way, the lesson they have learned and the heartache of being knocked out of the EFL Cup is what was best for the Magpies. 

Rafael Benitez will be teaching his squad a number of lessons in both their mentality on and off the pitch. While Newcastle will not be contesting the remainder of the EFL Cup this season, the fans and players will be contented with their progress this term and how the team is shaping up for the future.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch