At this stage of the season with only 9 games to go it is important top get the results, but we didn´t get anything in Rafa Benitez´ first game in charge at Leicester last night and lost 1-0.
But after viewing the whole game a second time on video, that performance was miles better than our last few games, but we just couldn´t score as we increased the pace in the second half and put a very good Leicester side under pressure.
Most fans were hoping for something last night – in our poll over 70% thought we could get a draw or a win, but it wasn´t to be.
Rafa Benitez on the touch-line last night
The manager seems to know exactly what he will fix before next before Sunday´s massive game against Sunderland at St. James’ Park – and of course a win in that game will lift the spirits of Newcastle fans everywhere and out us above the Black Cats in the league table.
Here´s what Rafa said:
“I can see in three days the commitment of the players. It’s there and I could see a lot of positives.”
“We have to fix these things, we have the derby and it’s not easy, but the fans can make the difference. Our fans are crucial for us.”
“We have nine games and we have to concentrate on the next one.”
“If you don’t win you are never happy. I was happy with the players and the performance, the commitment was great.”
“You have to get results though.” “I could see a lot of positives but we still have to improve and correct little details that can make the difference.”
“But that is the positive for me, from the beginning we created plenty of chances. It could have been different.”
“We were attacking and creating, now we have to improve the understanding and movement of players. I think we have one week and we can fix some things.”
“It’s really important to train them and see how they work. It is important to see how they react in competition.”
“Training is not the same, the pressure is different when you play a team like Leicester. They are on fire. They push and they run.”
Part of it is the understanding up front, because for example in the first half both Sissoko and Mitrovic went for the same high ball into the box and got in each others way – in what would have been a great chance if only one of them had been in position.
Tere was also some hesitancy when chances came and Siem de Jobg has a great chance in the second half but scuffed his shot – and that´s simply a lack of confidence.
But we did create chances and could easily have got the point – in fact we should have drawn the game – but should doesn´t mean much given where we are in the league.
We must start getting wins – starting on Sunday – and as Rafa points out the fans are massive for us, if we are to survive in the Premier League this season.
St. James’ Park will be rocking on Sunday and hopefully the lads can be spurred on to get the win – and that would be massive.
Howay the Lads!!