Date: 17th March 2017 at 6:35pm
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Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has confessed last Saturday’s defeat to Fulham was a “wake-up call” for everyone associated with the club, reports the club’s official Twitter account.

Following back-to-back victories over Brighton and Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town, combined with a goalless draw to Play-Off chasing Reading, many believed Newcastle were a certainty for automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Fulham left Benitez’s side level on points with Brighton at the top of the Championship table, but also just six points ahead of third-placed Huddersfield.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s trip to St Andrews’ where his side face Birmingham City, Benitez reflected on the Fulham result, he said: “Fulham was a wake-up call, to be sure that everyone is on their toes and ready.”

Saturday’s clash with Birmingham is an opportunity for the Magpies to open up a three-point lead over Brighton at the top of the table, with Chris Hughton’s side facing Leeds United in the evening kick-off.

Following next week’s international break, Benitez’s side face struggling Wigan Athletic and Burton Albion, where they will be more than confident of getting their promotion push back on track.

Newcastle fans… Were you in shock after last weekend’s defeat? Let us know in the comments!