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 By PA Sport

Rafa Benitez remaining positive after loss on Newcastle debut

New Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez insisted he wants to focus on the positives after losing his first game in charge.

Shinji Okazaki's overhead kick secured a 1-0 victory for Leicester, who moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League, on Monday.

Defeat at the King Power Stadium left Newcastle a point from safety ahead of Sunday's key north east derby with fellow strugglers Sunderland, who sit 17th.

Benitez replaced Steve McClaren on Friday and believes, even in just three days, he can see enough to suggest the Magpies can survive.

He said: "I would like to think about the positives. The team was going for the game and the team reacted well in the second half, we were pushing. That is, for me, the positive thing.

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"There are things we need to analyse and do better. We had good team spirit, everything was there we just need to correct the little things.

"I thought we could have got a result. I was convinced we could do it. The tempo Leicester have it's hard for any team. I will take the positives from this game. You could see the passion in a lot of players.

"Every game will be important for us. We know it is a derby and how important that will be for everybody."

Newcastle have now gone 270 top-flight minutes without scoring away from home and Aleksandar Mitrovic failed to justify his place in Benitez's starting XI.

Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez were off target during a quick start from the visitors and Benitez conceded they had been wasteful.

He added: "We had two good chances and Leicester played the game they liked to play. It was difficult. But this team had chances with [Moussa] Sissoko and we could get a goal against a good team.

"To be fair they are playing with a very high tempo. I am happy with the players and those from the bench. They tried everything."

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