Benitez Identifies Exactly What He´ll Fix For Sunderland Game

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!!

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9 comments so far

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 15, 2016 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #1

    It was almost like a live in-game continuation of the coaching as you could see Rafa gesticulating on the sidelines. The organisation was improved but they looked cautious and thoughtful. It is to be expected.

    It was always going to be a tough task to get something there. Our attacking improved a fair bit when the subs came on I thought.

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 15, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #2

    47sing in the corner // Mar 15, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    What I like about Rafa is his ability to be objective,to put the last game behind him,after taking what he needs out of the analysis, and focus on what we need to do ‘to fix a few things’. Fans are less successful at being objective. We have preconceived ideas, players we like and ones we don’t. And long memories.
    People hammering Colback, blaming him for the loss. He gave half a free kick away, just inside our own half, on the touchline. As a defensive unit,we then didn’t deal with a high ball into the box, then a ricochet. Colback did a lot of things pretty well las night but they are ignored.
    I respect everyone’s opinion. Charlie…your opinion is that Anita did well, I see you scored him a 7. Yet he hardly completed a simple pass all game, and inexplicably and repeatedly gave the ball away under no pressure. It’s nerves and the pressure of our situation.. We really need a break or two to grab a bit of confidence.
    It was a decent performance where we didn’t help ourselves in front of goal, and didn’t get any breaks. If we hold our nerve and put that kind of effort in again on Sunday I think we will win it.

    – See more at:

  • smoke beer, drink tabs

    Mar 15, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #3

    We looked more dangerous when Townsend came on, but before that it was all too similar play from Newcastle. Balls going up to mitrovic, who was bringing every ball down and keeping hold of it, but with very little support. Players need to get around him when the ball goes forward

  • beermonkey

    Mar 15, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #4

    last night goes to show that the biggest villan is charnely we should have bought rafa in a month ago

    could see improvments last night will it be enough at home to beat the unwashed
    was i the only one who thought sissoko was woeful last night

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Mar 15, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #5

    I wonder if he’ll play Gini with Shelvey on Sunday and play Siem or Perez in the number 10. Anita’s passing was poor I thought. Mitro seemed to control the ball with the initial put then lose the ball or it would go wayward on the second or third touches. I like Mitro though, just wish his distribution would be neater and more polished.

    Good to see Rafa was saying that the strikers were working on some extra things. The longer he’s here, hopefully the more we will develop and that will also convert to a higher ratio of points.

  • mad-serb

    Mar 15, 2016 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #6

    Morning Lads

    Felt we deserved a point for our effort and restricted them from getting in behind us and in gereral a solid display and 3 times better than our 3 previous games.

    The confedence of our players are rock buttom at the moment and but the commitment was there so it show there was some progress made in the 3 days that rafa had.

    I think we have seen Gini far more effective in a deeper role tonight and i think he is far better in there where he can look forward than in the 10 position where his back is turned on play. He is a more natural box to box and not an out and out 10. so maybe we can play Siem who is a actual 10 just behind Mitro. With Townsend and Sissoko in the flanks.

    That formattion look hgalf decent in the second half.

    But the most important thing last night was the subs Rafa made. How refresing was it to see some attacking subs made and I actually think we became more and more of a threat. leister was just hanging on and that 5 minutes of time wasting and the ref not doing anything was apalling to see.

  • robertsleftfoot

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #7

    I think Mitro done very well last night as Huth and Morgan are two very strong guys and he got to the ball first most of the time but just struggled a little to keep it because those two juggernauts were flying in behind him.

    I thought Anita was exceptionally poor, on at least half a dozen occasions his second touch was a tackle becasue his first ended up so far away.

    I seen no improvement from Sissoko either. I wouldnt play him at all to be honest I dont think he is worthy of a start. I dont think it will take Rafa long to see he puts very little into the team.

    I still think one up front is where struggle as Mitro has no help at all!!! I would set up something along these lines

    Janmatt Lascelles Colo Colback

    Shelvey Saivet

    Townsend Gini

    Mitro Ayoze

  • robertsleftfoot

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #8






  • ArtyH

    Mar 15, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #9

    IMHO as a fan I was just relieved to get rid of the Wally so anything was going to be seen as acceptable, and to be fair it was an improved performance because of the Rafa effect and some decent coaching idea’s evident even in 3 days. How different things could have been if we had taken Rafa when he became available weeks ago? Looking forward I think we may just scrape it with a bit of luck ( sadly lacking up to now ) and a bit more effort, I say this because we were second best last night when it came to fitness and sharpness. I think Rafa will have a close look at Anita, Gini and Sissoko and either give them extra coaching or give them the bullet.


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