By Jonathan Nagioff (@jonathannagioff)
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez said he was disappointed his side only secured a point, despite Matt Ritchie’s last-gasp equaliser.
The Magpies took the lead on the stroke of half time through Salomon Rondon’s superb free kick but were pegged back by Josh King’s second half brace.
Ritchie’s sublime volley in stoppage time rescued a point, however Benitez feels his side should have left the South Coast with all three points.
“We have lost two points,” Benitez told the media. “I think that we did enough and especially going 1-0 up at the beginning of the second half to manage the game and to get three points.
“So too many things were against us and we had to react and then I thought that the game was nearly lost, then it was a great goal from Ritchie so I’m happy for that but disappointed because we could have got three points.
“Maybe the way we were playing and managing the game we could have won the game.”
Ritchie, who had a successful spell at the Vitality Stadium before moving to the North East in 2016, came back to haunt his former side with an exquisite half-volley which delighted his manager.
Benitez continued: “He was doing well for us in defence, but to score against his former team and the goal he scored I’m sure he’s happy and at the same time he’s making all the Newcastle united fans happy.
“It’s a very good point.
“When you get a draw against a very good team, a team that is very good at attacking and when you were losing 2-1.”
Just prior to Ritchie’s leveller, Newcastle believed they had a credible claim for a back pass after Chris Mepham’s pass back to Artur Boruc was picked up by the Pole.
And Benitez echoed these sentiments: “If you want to clear, you clear.
“But I don’t want to say too much so I’m not happy with the way things were going on.
“I’m happy because we have one more point and one less game.”
The result leaves the Magpies in 13th, six points above the relegation zone but Benitez conceded that his side remain in danger.
Asked whether he believed his side were safe, the Spaniard said: “No. We have to keep going. The job is still not done so we have to keep winning games.
“I think it could be 38 points (to stay up) it depends.
“Obviously 40 is a guarantee for me. I think 38 will be enough so we have to keep winning if we can.”