RAFA BENITEZ has conceded that Newcastle United have problems to solve in front of goal after watching Leicester City make the most of some poor first half finishing at St James’ Park.

The Magpies, who had owner Mike Ashley in the stands watching them for the first time on Tyneside since May 2017, are the only team in the top four English leagues not to have taken the lead in a game this season.

The 2-0 loss to Leicester also means that Newcastle are enduring their worst start to a season in front of their own fans in their history, having lost four matches in a row on home turf.

A winless run has also now been extended to seven games in the Premier League, leaving them in the relegation zone ahead of next weekend’s trip to Manchester United.

But it could have been different had Joselu or Mo Diame turned in one of the two fantastic first half chances that went to waste before Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire hit a goal in each half for the Foxes.

Benitez said: “I’m disappointed because we didn’t do what we were expecting to do. They did well. They were well organised. We had a couple of chances that could change everything.

“If we had taken one of these chances we would be talking about a difference game. We were not very precise on the ball, giving the ball away.

“After the second goal it was clear we miss a little bit of confident. It is something we could expect.

“Last year we were in the bottom five in January and we finished tenth. We have to carry on. We have to make sure we are ready mentally for the next game.”

He added: “Last year we knew it could be different but in the end we did so well that people forgot we needed to carry on improving things and we didn’t do it. Now have to be sure we keep working he team hard.”

Ashley’s presence at St James’ arrived on a day when it emerged former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon is trying to get a team of investors together to buy Newcastle.

But Benitez said: “I had no idea. They asked me, I have to concentrate on things on the pitch.”

The Spaniard, a fans’ favourite, was actually booed when he replaced Matt Ritchie with Jacob Murphy in the second half.

Benitez said: “The fans want to win. We want to win. We can have different opinions depending on the moment. We were making substitutions trying to change things. You have to score a goal if you want to win things.”