Benitez explains why he made surprise decision on Tuesday night

Rafael Benitez has explained why he dropped Dwight Gayle in favour of Aleksandar Mitrovic during the clash against Queens Park Rangers.

Dwight Gayle has made a stunning start to life at Newcastle United since his £10 million move from Crystal Palace over the summer and his goals have proven to be crucial in helping the Magpies enjoy a wonderful run of form in recent weeks.

Therefore, it was very surprising to see Gayle being omitted from the Newcastle starting lineup against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night in favour of Aleksandar Mitrovic by manager Rafael Benitez.

In the end, the decision was perhaps justified as Newcastle romped their way to a stunning 6-0 victory at Loftus Road and following the game, Benitez has gone on to explain that he dropped Gayle in favour of Mitrovic as he wanted to rotate his squad in order to keep everyone fit.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Benitez said, “I am very happy with the strikers. It was a difficult decision for me because Gayle is doing really well and Murphy was also doing well. To leave somebody out of the squad and play Mitro instead of Gayle or Ayoze is difficult.

“I am really pleased that we have a good squad and everybody worked hard in the training sessions to be in the team. It’s too early, we don’t have many injuries and we will have problems and suspensions. Everybody has to make sure they are fit for us for the rest of the season.”