Newcastle United beat Stoke City 1-0 in their latest match, as they picked up a vital three points.
Benitez sprung a surprise with his selection decision at the bet365 Stadium at the weekend, as Christian Atsu partnered Ayoze Perez up-front for Newcastle.
Joselu and Dwight Gayle were both rested for the fixture, and Benitez claims that he never had the option to play the Spanish target man.
“He had some cramps the other day, so I couldn’t play him,” said Benitez.
“Maybe I could have at the end, but it would have been a risk, and I don’t want to take a risk when you do not have too many players. We have to manage what we have, especially with the strikers. We had to make sure the players could recover and be on the pitch. With his cramps the other day, we didn’t want to take any risks.”
Joselu has taken some fierce criticism since signing for Newcastle in the summer, with the former Stoke man struggling to impress.
Joselu has been picked regularly be Benitez, but he has not scored with any frequency.
Newcastle could now stick with the partnership of Atsu and Perez, after they picked up a victory against Stoke.
The Magpies managed to get past Mark Hughes’ side, as they collected a vital three points.
Newcastle are now in 13th place in the Premier League table, four points above the relegation zone.