Benitez comments on decision made by Newcastle players without his input

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St. James Park on December 13, 2017 in...

Newcastle United currently find themselves in a while world of trouble.

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Newcastle...

Magpies boss Rafa Benitez spoke to reporters during his pre-match press conference, ahead of his side's trip to Arsenal in the Premier League today, and delivered his verdict on the news that his players have cancelled their Christmas party, as quoted by Reuters.

Newcastle actually began their league campaign in respectable fashion, but a woeful run of six defeats in their last seven outings has seen them drop down to 16th spot in the table, just a single point clear of 18th placed Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard has made it clear that he would like to strengthen his options during the January transfer window, but for now he will have to make do with what he has available to him, and the players owe their boss a performance.

Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle United manager looks on during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

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Things don't get any easier for the Toon, though, with a trip to the Emirates to take on Arsenal next on the agenda, and a defeat in north London today could see them drop inside the relegation zone.

Benitez spoke to reporters and backed his players' decision to cancel their Christmas party, as quoted by Reuters:

Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle United manager looks on during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

“They want to give a very clear message that they care and they want to do things right so they have decided to cancel their Christmas party. The players have taken responsibility and decided it’s important to concentrate on football. I think it’s the right thing."

Following today's game away at Arsenal, Newcastle face teams in and around them in the table in four of their following five league outings, and Benitez will be hoping that his players' decision to cancel their festivities this year will pay dividends.

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