The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Rafa Explains Why Newcastle Fans So Crucial In Survival Bid

12:43 pm, Friday, March 25th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 17 Comments

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has been very consistent since he arrived at Newcastle two weeks ago by saying one big reason he accepted the job at Newcastle was because of the legendary fans.

Rafa is now trying to make it very clear to the fans that they are absolutely crucial in the relegation struggle.

Rafa has said the fight-back in the second half when Mitrovic scored that extremely vital goal for us with just 7 minutes to go and prevented Sunderland gaining 3 points on us – was because of the fans.

fc fans 9

Newcastle fans at Sunderland game

If the fans believe then the players will believe so the fans must never give up hope in any one of our remaining eight games.

This is what Rafa said yesterday about just how important the Newcastle fans are to survival:

“We have to stay calm. We all realise how important this is going to be for everybody in the city. They have to be calm but at the same time keep pushing and helping the team.

“The reaction of the players against Sunderland was actually because of the fans. If the fans think we can’t do it, the players may give up, so everybody has to keep pushing.”

“We must concentrate and give everything for the team and the club.” “At the end of the season we will then look at the analysis. But I still think we can do it.”

“We have to keep preparing them, giving them good training sessions and giving them confidence. We have to adjust and do things in every game that are possible.”

“If I make a substitution I have to be sure it is fine. Sometimes it can be fine, but not enough.” “So everybody has to stick together and we’ll have more chances to stay up.”

Benitez has wisely banned any talk about relegation at the club’s Benton training ground and any talk about what happens if Newcastle go down.

That’s a good move by Rafa – our players must believe they can do it – that’s the first step to achieving safety and keeps everybody positive.

We expect Rafa has already talked to Daryl Janmaat, who is injured but told his Dutch manager earlier this week he wants to leave Newcastle in the summer.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Daryl wanting to leave, but he should not publicize it – although we suppose it was Blind who leaked that news.

Do you think Daryl will want to leave if we are safe and Benitez is the manager for the next three seasons on Tyneside?

And the fans can help save us big time – by always believing and helping Rafa achieve his second miracle as a football manager.

Howay The Lads!!

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 toon kk // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Fans have to get behind the team and enjoy our last eight games in the premier league.

    I don’t want us to go down but at least we’ll be able to compete in the championship next season (hopefully).

  • 2 Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Can we please stop worshipping Benitez like he’s some kind of God?

    It is the players who need our support and encouragement the most, not Benitez.

    If we survive this season it is going to take a whole team effort, not just a good coach

    Ian Toon // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Derek- So you discount the need for strong and inspirational leadership to create a winning culture? If we are to survive the team need to raise the level of performance and Benitez Instill a winning mindset. The only question is does he have enough time- it would have helped had he come in after the Chelsea game.

    The players have been there all season and at best been mediocre despite receiving toon army 100% backing. You only need to see the influence of inspirational leadership to consider Man U post SAF.

    Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Ian Toon,

    No I definitely do not discount the need for strong and inspirational leadership. That’s not what I said that so I don’t know why you are making that assumption.

    I said we need a whole team effort. That means good leadership, tactics, instructions AND most importantly players who will listen to these instructions, work together and achieve results.

    It is Rafa’s words that the players need confidence, and if all the fans are cheering Rafa this, Rafa that, it is not going to help their morale as much as cheering for the whole team.

  • 3 Hail Wor Ashley // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    If this was Schteve or Patsy saying this, they’d be getting pelters for blaming fans. Same with a lot of his other interviews, nothing particularly off script said that any new manager wouldn’t say, but in the comments people are lauding his words and saying finally we have a proper manager. Perception is everything. Schteve was a loser in most eyes from the off, so no matter what he said it got jumped on, Rafa is a high rep decorated manager, so no matter what he says it’s praised.

    More important is what he’s practically doing behind the scenes to organise this scrapheap of a squad.

  • 4 No Defence // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    What worries me is if Rafa keeps us up, and England do the usual and get knocked out the Euro’s early, there will be people asking for him to be the next English Manager?

  • 5 lesh // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    According to the Shields Gazette yesterday, Janmaat said he’s keen to play so he can be in the shop window and attract suitors if we’re relegated. Did he sat he wants to leave in any event?

    And since I’m talking sensationalism and scaremongering, when has Rafa said he’ll only stay if he saves us from relegation?

    I may be wrong but c’mon Ed, some of this is like the dead cat being thrown onto the table, these stories won’t go away and soon become ‘fact’.

    Let’s accentuate the positives while being realistic eh?

  • 6 Ian Toon // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Hail- Benitez is a good communicator. Hopefully the players are buying into his conviction as well. Talk is cheap and we’ve all witnessed ever worsening performances prior to his arrival. The Board displayed complacency in not getting rid of Macca after the Chelsea game.

    We will need added commitment from the players in the remaining games if we are to pull through. Should that happen then the squad weaknesses can be addressed through the transfer market. A. number just aren’t good enough irrespective of what he might be saying publicly and privately.

  • 7 lesh // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    No defence

    Rafa for England? Just like the clamour for youknowue!

  • 8 Munster Mag // Mar 25, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    Laurent if what u are saying re sissoko is correct, and i tend to agree, then we are in agreement that rafa is wasting him on left midfield/left wing. I am beginning to think we need mitro and cisse upfront. We need goals. It certainly has to be an option at some stage but i think sdj’s coolness will get him a starting place

  • 9 No Defence // Mar 25, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    I watched the game again (soba)I thought Sissoko did canny as a fill in left back, with all the injuries we have maybe Rafa will stick with that. Plus I thought Cissi done ok when he came on, IMO he reads the game better than Mitrovic, so maybe put them both up top to start with against Norwich.?

  • 10 MadisonToon // Mar 25, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    No Defence

    Cisse didn’t do terribly, but I don’t think he did all that well either. He was on for 15 minutes and did get us our only offsides call all game so it is clear he brings something else to the table.

    Although I’m never going to be a fan of Cisse, he might actually be what we need in the run-in. We need goals and we aren’t trying to build a good team or a smooth team or a pleasant-on-the-eye team. We need points. Period. Cisse is not a good solution for a consistent player in a good side, but he does score goals (even though he gives the ball away frequently, has a bad first touch and is constantly offsides). I wouldn’t keep him around next season when Rafa is going to build a real side, but he might be the guy to chip in the goals we need to stay up in the meantime.

  • 11 martoon // Mar 25, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    I have to agree with previous comments – I would like to see Mitro & Cisse up front together I think they would complement each other. Not sure about Sissoko at left back he can’t tackle! I think I would go for Anita who has played LB before.

  • 12 Blackley and Brownlie // Mar 25, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    You at Thorp Arch tomorrow? If so, look out for old Blackas. Black, ginger and white beard and NUFC beanie if the weather’s inclement. The tramp pushing a 15 year old in a wheelchair.

  • 13 Blackley and Brownlie // Mar 25, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    So Rafa has declared he’s not a miracle worker. That’s that then.

  • 14 sparky55 // Mar 25, 2016 at 4:36 PM


    I’m not unfortunately…it’s my wifes birthday tomorrow so we’re out all day….sorry bout that…would’ve be good to meet up.

    Lewis is on the bench tomorrow…everyone in good old fashioned football parlance calls him “Knighty” and he normally plays right wing or as part of a 2 up front.

    His dad (my nephew) is always there..he’s about 6ft 5, thick set and sports a No 2. His name is Martin.

    They’re playing huddersfield and they’re pretty evenly matched so should be a good game.

    Huddersfield’s big weakness is their right back…he’s the son of a director and a right posey twat but got no pace and too busy straightening his hair…proper knob.

    They have ginna centre forward who’s to watch for sure.

    Enjoy the game and hopefully we can meet up sometime

  • 15 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 25, 2016 at 4:58 PM

    Munster, that’s right, I don’t believe he is a wide man, and never have. A wide man for me should have the ability to provide a quality delivery and chip in with a fair few goals.

    Sissoko is the transitional phase between the start of the attack and before the final balls are played, although now and then he should be chipping in with assists and goals as well – this should be the case with every player.

    To ask him to play regular final balls of a high quality standard is not going to happen, he can’t do it, it was obvious from the start. That’s where players like Nobby Solano and Mr. Robert take over.

    He has some fine attributes, but only if utilised correctly.

  • 16 goalseeker // Mar 25, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    At the end of the day there are 11 players who cross the white line they are professionals and supposed to be amongst the best in the game. I am not defending Macca he could not change things tactically and you have to wonder just what he did in the coaching department but today show me a footballer who will really stand up and take responsibility. Gone are the days when pulling on the shirt of any major team was motivation enough, all this kissing the badge does not mean a jot. During the game to players can see if something is not working should they not take responsibility to change things during the game or are they really gormless robots. We are in the bottom three not solely because of Macca or the Boardroom they must take responsibility too but because the players refused to stand up and be counted when it mattered. Let us hop that Rafa can get through to them. Ask them do they want to have relegation on their CVs. Trouble is it does not really matter to them if the club is relegated it just takes a call to their agent “Find me a new club” and some other club is always willing to blame a manager for their failings and sign them. They are paid well it is time they took a hard look at themselves look at that crowd of fans who sacrifice a great deal financially to watch them and use the fans for motivation and encouragement to walk off the pitch at the end of the game knowing that they gave 100% effort. And guess what we will not be relegated.

  • 17 Graeme // Mar 25, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    Hail @ 3 – I think McClown proved beyond all doubt that he wasn’t a good enough coach for NUFC – just check out his results.
    Moncur is nothing more than a mouthpiece enjoying his time in the limelight!!

previous post: Rafa And Newcastle – A Match Made In Heaven

next post: Former Manager Gives His View On Newcastle Survival