The 7,000 crowd, made up of almost 3,000 Newcastle fans, saw Aleksandar Mitrovic open the scoring 10 minutes in, being the first to react to Paul Dummett’s parried effort to give us the lead.
Preston’s Tom Barkhuizen then equalised at the back post after Newcastle failed to clear their lines, and the score stayed the same, despite second half chances for Gayle, De Jong and Mbemba.
Mitrovic impressed during the first-half, as well as Jonjo Shelvey and new-boy Florian Lejeune putting in solid displays.
75mins: A combination of Woodman & Lejeune prevent Doyle from rounding the #nufc GK & scoring. Lejeune has looked decent again
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) July 22, 2017
New signings Jacob Murphy and Javier Manquillo also came on the in the second half for their NUFC debuts, with the former showing some flashes of pace and direct running ability.
Here’s what Benitez had to say post-match:
“It wasn’t the best. We had some good situations and good plays at times but it wasn’t the best.”
“At this stage of the season the fitness is quite important.”
“You could see that they were a little sharper than us.”
“There was an understanding between players and some tactical work, but we have to improve.”
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Elliot – Mbemba, Hanley, Lejeune, Dummett – Diamé, Shelvey – Atsu, De Jong, Aarons – Mitrovic.
Used subs: Darlow, Woodman, Clark, Manquillo, Yedlin, Colback, Hayden, Murphy, Roberts, Pérez, Gayle.
Not the best game, but a good workout nonetheless. Bradford City away up next on Wednesday night.