Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has admitted to telling off Mohamed Diame for being 'too honest' after the Senegal international admitted to sleeping too much since joining the club.

Diame, 29, was in fine form for his side on Saturday as they beat Birmingham City 4-0 at St James' Park.

Hull City v Newcastle United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final

However, it hasn't been all sweet dreams for Diame following his summer-switch from Hull City, and the midfielder faced a media backlash, following his confession about his underperformance, in which he admitted he had been 'sleeping' since his transfer.

Benitez, speaking to the ​Shields Gazette, told reporters how he told Diame to be less candid in future when speaking to the media.

“I said to him he was too honest when he said about him sleeping too much since he’s been here. 

“Sometimes players, media Press and fans think the players have to score goals, but sometimes it’s just about working hard and getting to the level that you know they have.”

The former West Ham midfielder played a huge role in hat-trick hero Dwight Gayle's first two goals, a player who Benitez has backed to score 30 goals this season.

He added: “Hopefully (he can score 30 goals). But I think you have to talk about how difficult (the Championship) is. 

“If they know who is the top scorer, maybe they will be more aware (of his threat), and it will be more difficult for him. 

"We just have to keep making and creating chances. 

“He can play maybe even more games if you want to push him, but why take risks if you’ve got the players to bring on? 

“In Dwight’s case, with the kind of player he is, his movement makes him different to the other strikers.” 

Next up for Newcastle, who sit on the top of the Championship, is a trip to struggling Wigan Athletic, who recorded their 10th defeat in 20 games at the hands of Aston Villa on Saturday.