Rafa Benitez admitted that his side were left to rue missed opportunities against Everton after the Toffees ran out 1-0 winners in Benitez's 100th match in charge of Newcastle.

In a game of few chances, an emphatic finish from Theo Walcott was enough for ​Everton to claim three points. Newcastle had chances of their own with Ayoze Perez and Jacob Murphy both going close for the Magpies.

Quoted on the Sky Sports website speaking about his side's performances, Benitez revealed: "We didn't take our chances and that is the difference when you have Walcott or [Wayne] Rooney or players on these wages that can make a difference.

Everton v Newcastle United - Premier League

"We did really well to be here to play against this team. To expect that we have to beat them easily is impossible.

"They have very good players and they can make the difference. We battled and we fought until the end so we had the chance to draw, but we lost against a good team and that's it."

The Spaniard has guided Newcastle to ​Premier League survival, despite early fears of a relegation fight. Reflecting on this season's targets, Benitez stated: "We are really strong. To stay in the Premier League was the target and we are really pleased with that.

"We will try to do better if we can but today, we knew it would be a difficult game against a very good team, but still we had our chances and now we have to be ready for the next one.

​Newcastle have the chance to return to winning ways this weekend when they face a struggling ​West Brom side who looked doomed to be relegated.