Benitez opted for a 5-4-1 system, utilising three centre-backs in an effort to stifle the aerial prowess of a Burnley side replete with towering potential; Fabian Schar, Clark and Fernandez were given the task of forming a bulwark, and they perhaps would have kept a clean sheet were it not for some questionable positioning from Dubravka.
The Magpies now sit in 14th place in the Premier League, after going unbeaten in their last three games, winning two and drawing one.
Burnley was in fourth-to-last place, one point from safety.
"I thought I'd scored to be honest", Ritchie told Sky Sports.
Burnley halved the deficit thanks to a brilliant Sam Vokes header five minutes before the break and had chances in the second half but Newcastle also threatened on the counter with Matt Ritchie missing an open goal and Ayoze Perez striking the post.
"On balance we probably deserved something but once you give those goals away it's hard at 2-0 down in the Premier League".More news: Border Patrol Chief Defends Tear Gas: Agents Under Attack
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The winger met DeAndre Yedlin's cross-shot two yards out with an open goal in front of him but somehow guided the ball wide.
"It was a high pass count for us, which often happens against a 5-4-1 playing on the counter, and at the end, still that final pass, that final moment of quality, but there was more of that tonight".
"I was delighted at the end there to see that ball (Vokes' last-gasp header) go over the bar and the whistle go".
"We don't think the job is done because we are out of the bottom three".
"A lot of aspects of our performance I was pleased with - we mixed our play and we created chances but the margins are small". Their first goal gets a hell of a deflection, and the second goal's a poor goal. Obviously the frustration is you don't get a result.
"The main thing for us is to make sure we can get something out of these games. The character of the side is coming back".