There are going to be reports after yesterday’s game that maybe both Sunderland and Newcastle now look destined for the Championship next season, and certainly a draw was the perfect result for Norwich City, who won their game at West Brom on Saturday and remain 2 points ahead of Sunderland and 3 points ahead of Newcastle.
Both north-east clubs have a game in hand on the Canaries.
But Rafa Benitez still has eight games to play this season and things should continue to improve and certainly the second half yesterday is the best we have played under Rafa.
Newcastle made an excellent comeback to avoid the disaster and allow Sunderland to get their 7th win in a row against us.
That would have been more than terrible, but we dodged the bullet.
Rafa Benitez and players celebrate Mitrovic’ equalizer
Newcastle were better going forward in that second half, but there was slack marking for the Black Cats’ goal from Defoe just before half time – and we must get much tighter in defense from set plays.
After the game Rafa Benitez was positive and talked about Mitro first – who after scoring a great equalizer suffered a concussion late in the game and had to be withdrawn:
“He’s fine. He wanted to be on the pitch again but he lost consciousness. We had to be careful and the doctor was right.”
“I have to believe they can play better, I saw that in the second half. We have eight games to play and we have to play the level of the second half.”
“To win would have been perfect but when you are losing in the first half and keep the same gap, it’s positive.”
“The main thing was that the fans supported us and we want that in every single game. I think we can stay up.”
“We have to keep working, I believe they can play better and from what I have seen today in the second half, they can do well.”
With more time with the players on the training field, Rafa can continue to improve the Newcastle side and we can still rack up the number of wins necessary to survive this season – although it will be close.