Win not due to luck: Benitez
Newcastle boss rebuts Blackburn manager Mowbray's claim that crucial third goal was offside
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez insisted his side did not ride their luck to win their FA Cup third-round replay against second-tier Blackburn Rovers yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Newcastle academy products Callum Roberts and Sean Longstaff put the away side 2-0 up after just 22 minutes but fellow former academy graduate Adam Armstrong and Darragh Lenihan ensured Blackburn went into the break level.
There were no goals in the second half, sending the game to extra-time.
Joselu restored Newcastle's lead in controversial circumstances at the end of the first period of injury time before Ayoze Perez sealed the tie on 106 minutes.
Joselu's goal came through a follow-up after Fabian Schaar's shot was spilled by Blackburn goalkeeper David Raya. The Spaniard, however, looked to be offside.
Said Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray: "It's not an argument, is it? It is offside, let's be honest.
"If VAR was here, it's no goal, is it? It makes me laugh sometimes.
"Just say it as it is. It's offside. The official got it wrong. There's not an argument about it, it's offside.
"Maybe the world will change and VAR will prevent all the goals that go in that are not goals being goals. It can work for you sometimes and against you at other times.
"We'll probably jump from human error to a guy sitting in a studio hundreds of miles away making an error as well some day, but there you go."
But Benitez rebutted the suggestion his side got lucky with the crucial third goal, saying: "No, I don't think that was luck.
"I think the second goal before was a foul against one of our players, and a free-kick, and then they score.
"These things can happen.
"In this case, we scored the third goal. You can complain if you want, but I think overall we scored four goals, so it's difficult to complain about that."
Inevitably, with the January transfer window open and having previously spoken about his hope that owner Mike Ashley would grant him reinforcements, the Newcastle boss was asked about transfers.
But Benitez batted away any transfer talk and recent comments by former England international Rio Ferdinand, who defended Ashley, saying : "You can't hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell the club...
"And they owe a thank you to Mike Ashley for getting Rafa Benitez."
BeIN Sports presenter Richard Keys went one step further suggesting: "If Rafa loves Newcastle as he says - spend some of his own money.
"He's got enough. Management is about teamwork - why should it always be Ashley."
Former Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas, however, backed Benitez's transfer silence, saying: "Rafa can only talk about what he knows. I get the feeling he doesn't know...
"Putting yourself in Rafa's shoes, I don't blame him for batting off those questions.
"It's false hope. To tell those fans something will happen when in all likelihood it's probably not - it can go the other way. He has to toe that party line."