Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez reiterates need for signings


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Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez conceded he needs to strengthen his squad to boost their hopes of Premier League survival after Saturday’s FA Cup loss to Watford.

The Magpies required a replay to squeeze past Blackburn earlier this month but they will have no further opportunities in the competition after Saturday’s dismal performance.

Andre Gray and Isaac Success netted for Watford to ensure progression to the fifth round, something Newcastle haven’t been able to do since 2006.

Indeed, they have yet to go beyond the fourth round since billionaire businessman Mike Ashley took control of the club.

Benitez has clearly been left frustrated by a lack of financial backing during his time at the helm and it looks unlikely that situation will change before the end of the month.

A loan deal for Lazio defender Jordan Lukaku fell through just prior to kick off at St James’ Park to pile further misery on Benitez.

The Spaniard felt the team he deployed was capable of competing but admits they do need to get extra bodies through the door. Benitez said: “This was a strong team, strong enough. I think we could have won.

“That we didn’t do it means that maybe we need something more if we want to go through and then try to challenge for this competition.

“We did what we had to do. We tried and we couldn’t, that’s it.” Newcastle can now switch their focus back to the Premier League and they are priced at 4.50 to be relegated this season.

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