Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has insisted he will continue to do things his way as he attempts to mould his team on a budget.

The Spaniard was criticised by television pundits for the defensive approach he adopted during Sunday's 2-1 Premier League defeat at St James' Park, but remains unrepentant as he prepares for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup trip to Nottingham Forest.

Benitez said: "You can have the head of a mouse or a tail of a lion.

"In the Championship we were top scorers and we conceded fewer goals than anyone, so we were strong, we were attacking, everybody was happy and we won the Championship.

"The year after we had to defend and we did it really well, so this group of players, the commitment is there. It's so obvious that to finish 10th means that they were working so hard and they were doing so well. The fans appreciated that and everybody was happy.

"This year, you can talk and you can say whatever you want, but the transfer window will have an impact on tactics. With the team that we have, we are doing well - we could have drawn against Tottenham, we could have won against Cardiff, we could have drawn against Chelsea.

"I am not happy because we didn't do it, I'm not happy because we didn't get the points that maybe we deserved.

"But we are in a good position in terms of confidence in the team and the way that we work."

Benitez will head to Forest without Jamaal Lascelles, Javier Manquillo, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie through injury and Isaac Hayden through suspension, and once again denied that he has had a bust-up with skipper Lascelles amid reports of a training ground disagreement.

Asked if he had spoken to the defender, he said: "I was talking with him before the game, because he came to support the team. After the game when he was leaving, I saw him.

"I was talking with him this morning maybe three or four times because his partner is having a baby in a few days and we don't know when. I am asking him all the time."