Jamaal Lascelles has been interviewed and he has revealed some things that Rafa Benitez has changed in the training at Newcastle as he quickly tries to fix two problems with the team – we let too many goals in and we don’t score enough of them.
Apart from that we suppose we are in good shape.
Rafa has said it’s fairly easy to fix the defensive problems, but (much) harder to fix the scoring problems Newcastle have had all season, especially away from home.
Jamaal Lascelles in action on Monday night
This is some of what the 22 year-old had to say on the Newcastle web-site:
“He’s done a bit more tactical shape in training which the boys have taken on excellently.”
“I think the game on Sunday against Sunderland – we have to win that. We literally have to win. I think we’ve not beaten them in seven games, but we’ve just got to go into that confident and we can take positives out of the game on Monday.”
“We’ve had chances, and in previous weeks we haven’t been able to create them. Other than the goal, defensively we were pretty solid, but we’ve just got to stay positive and keep fighting.”
It’s easier to fix the defensive problems, because it is a lot to do with organization, shape and discipline and it seems that’s what Benitez worked on first before the Leicester City game.
And the defense was much better ion Monday although it was one of the few bits of sloppy defending that led to their only goal after 25 minutes and yet another defeat.
After we also missed two or three good chances against the Foxes Rafa said after the game he would work on the understanding between the forwards in and around the penalty box this week.
We’re sure he’s doing that this week – along with some shooting practice and some work on set plays like corners in order to get the team scoring some goals.
Rafa is also worried about all the injuries Newcastle keep picking up every season and he;s also taken that into account – but just what exactly he’s doing about that we don’t know .
But he seems unwilling to bring Coloccini and Cisse back into the team unless they can prove to him they are 100% fit this week in training.
Maybe in the past this season players were played when they were not fully fit, which from reports seems to have been the case with Chancel Mbemba when he was played at Everton.
We have paid big time for that, because he injured his ankle again at Goodison Park and he’s been out six weeks with that so far.
After the Sunderland game on Sunday we have a 13 day break before the game at Norwich – another relegation 6 pointer.
Rafa and his coaches will have lots of time to prepare for that game and some of our players could be back for that game – hopefully including Chancel Mbemba.