By the time we play Norwich City at Carrow Road this Saturday, Rafa Benitez will have had almost two weeks with the players (those not away for International duty) – and his aim has been to organize the side, go back to basics and fill the players with confidence, which was sorely missing when he first arrived.
With so little time it’s not possible to make the big changes in the way the side plays – that will need to wait for the summer, but he wants to make Newcastle a lot harder to beat and a lot more organized – and get the forwards able to score some goals for a change.
Who knows – we could even start winning some games very soon if the manager is successful in doing that.
The manager has put in a ton of work and effort since he arrived on Tyneside – he’s been working his socks off to keep Newcastle up.
A confident Rafa Benitez at the Sunderland game
We will see if he has been successful in the game at Norwich, where the result is all important – as it is in all of our remaining eight games of the season.
If we can say get a couple of wins on the trot the atmosphere at the club and among the players will change dramatically and we can escape the drop for a second successive season.
Norwich had a great 1-0 win at West Brom last time out, but we cannot do much about that – only what we can do in the final games of another completely disastrous season.
This is what Rafa has said:
“It’s something you can’t change.” “Norwich were working very hard, it’s what we have to do.” “We have to concentrate on the things we can manage and the things we can do.”
“We have to improve our team and the confidence of our players.” “We have to prepare our players properly and after that it’s football.” “That is the reason why they won that game away from home, but maybe they can lose two games in a row.”
“Then we have to carry on, we can’t say to keep up or it’s impossible.” “Maybe we will have a chance right until the end.” “Hopefully, before the end and it will be easier and I will be happier.”
“But we have to keep pushing and working hard. I think we can do it.”
“Hopefully it can change, starting this week, but we have to keep the belief that we are doing well.” “We have to start seeing these things on the pitch and winning the games we want to win.”
Hopefully that’s every single game remaining that we want to win – we have to go all out for the 24 points still available – and maybe if we can get half of them – 12 points – that may even be enough to save us.
That’s after what was a simply terrible first 28 games – three quarters of the season under Steve McClaren.
If we survive we will be very lucky – but the future will look very bright indeed in the summer under the impressive Rafa Benitez who has already been given wide powers to fix the club from top to bottom.
And it certainly needs fixing – it’s a complete mess right now.