Benitez urges his Newcastle players to regroup and finish up at the ‘upper table’

Rafa Benitez wants his Newcastle United side to try to finish ninth in the Premier League table despite their 1-0 defeat at home to rock-bottom West Brom on Saturday.

Matt Phillips scored the only goal of the game when Baggies midfielder Jake Livermore’s sidefoot pass found the winger ten yards out and he rifled it into the net.

“We tried to do it, but I’m not happy with our performance, on the ball, without the ball, everything we did in the last few games, we didn’t do,” Benitez told BBC Sport.

“We wanted to get more points to finish higher in the table, but we didn’t do well today, we made a lot of mistakes, and we weren’t good enough.

“We didn’t think the job was done, but it’s a pity because we’ve had a good season, but we want to finish better, too. I congratulate the players for a good season, but we need to be better than today.

“The target was to stay up, but if we can finish ninth we want to do that.”