(Reuters) – Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez was determined to take the positives out of his side’s goalless draw with Southampton despite their winless start to the Premier League season continuing on the south coast.
The North East club failed to register a shot on target at St Mary’s Stadium.
But the point they earned lifted them off the bottom of the table, and Benitez hopes they will now finally get their season back on track.
“In the circumstances it is a positive result — a clean sheet and one point away.” Benitez said.“We are in a difficult position but it is a small step forward in terms of confidence and showing the team can compete.
“In terms of work rate and team spirit, I can’t complain. The fans realise it’s a difficult situation and they got behind the team.
“In the circumstances it is a positive result, a clean sheet and one point away.”
Southampton manager Mark Hughes believes his side need to be more ruthless in front of goal if they are to get back on the winning trail.
The Saints have now gone six Premier League games without a win and have yet to win at home this season.
“It is two games back to back that defensively we have been rock solid,” Hughes said.
“At the top end of the pitch we need to make more of the chances we are creating, in moments we need a killer edge to our play.
“Sometimes you need something to fly off someone’s head, back of the head, and we’ll be off and running. I can’t fault players, in terms of what we talk about.
“Once again, we have not got maximum points at home which is dragging on.”
(Reporting by Marc Isaacs,; Editing by Ken Ferris, Neville Dalton)