Newcastle showed excellent organization last night and overall we looked a good team and in those final 25 minutes we even looked a very good team as we raised our game and put Leicester under some pressure.
Benitez tried everything to win this game and made three attacking changes in the second half as he went for goals – he brought on Townsend, de Jong and Doumbia to try to get the goal that would have given us at least a draw.
Newcastle went out to win the game last night and in those first 25 minutes before we gave up a soft goal to go behind – we looked the better side.
Rafa Benitez on the touchline last night
After the goal Leicester looked much better until half time, but then as the second half wore on, Newcastle came more and more into the game and trying to score in every which way we could.
But when you compare this performance last night with our last away game at Stoke, this was so much better and we were trying to win the game and has a game plan to do just that.
At the Britannia Stadium we played negatively and defensively from the very first whistle, after having 18 days of preparation – some of it in the southern sun of Spain – and went only for the draw?
Shame on McClaren for that.
Rafa´s obsession with winning could yet see us put a string of wins together that could see us survive this season.
And Rafa was only thinking of the positives after the game – and there were lots of them:
“I would like to think about the positives. The team was going for the game and the team reacted well in the second half, we were pushing. That is, for me, the positive thing.
“There are things we need to analyse and do better. We had good team spirit, everything was there we just need to correct the little things.
“I thought we could have got a result. I was convinced we could do it. The tempo Leicester have it’s hard for any team. I will take the positives from this game.”
“You could see the passion in a lot of players.” “Every game will be important for us. We know it is a derby and how important that will be for everybody.”
“We had two good chances and Leicester played the game they liked to play. It was difficult. But this team had chances with Moussa Sissoko and we could get a goal against a good team.”
“To be fair they are playing with a very high tempo. I am happy with the players and those from the bench. They tried everything.”
It was also obvious in the interviews after the game that Rafa was disappointed not to have taken something out of this game, but three training sessions didn´t give him too much time to prepare either.
He seems to know exactly what´s needed with the players – and he has almost a week to prepare the team for the derby game at home to Sunderland on Sunday.
And then we have a full two weeks to prepare for the game at Norwich City and both the next two games are critical to our survival.
Rafa´s obsession with winning is a huge change from Steve McClaren´s more cautious and less brave approach and could yet see us pick up enough points to be safe this season.
That´s what we have to hope for.
Keep the faith.
Howay The Lads – we can do it.