The Newcastle Board waited far too long to fire head coach Steve McClaren – and it’s just a pity we couldn’t have brought in Rafa Benitez after the 5-1 defeat at Chelsea, when we were basically back to square one with the woeful McClaren and the players were available for a full 18 days before the next game at Stoke.
As it turned out we got more talk from Steve McClaren, then when we played Stoke we tried to get a 0-0 draw from the first whistle and lost the game 1-0 and then we were disgraced 3-1 at home to Bournemouth.
Then Newcastle had to get rid of McClaren, but since Rafa Benitez has come in he has had little time with the players for the two games he has managed so far.
Classic photo of manager and player
Aleksandar Mitrovic will be back in training today for Norwich game
He’s just had two weeks with the players, but some of out best players have been away during the time – which was not true during that 16 days in February.
But we cannot change that now, although Rafa is again bringing up the point that he has little time to get his ideas across to the players and mentions that two weeks with all the players would have been fantastic.
This is what Rafa has said:
“Every day is important for us because we don’t have too much time to send our ideas across.”
“This week, or these 10 days, could be ‘oh fantastic’ to work with the players, but we have seven or eight plays away on international duty and a number of them will start.”
“It’s not ideal, but it’s what we have at the moment and I am quite positive because of the reaction of the players during every training session.”
“Every day you can see that they are working hard, they are listening to you, they are trying to adapt to these things.”
“We maximize the time that we have in videos, in training sessions, in our groups, we have to do that at the moment.”
“We have to keep the spirit and then maximize the time that we have.”
“Leicester was just three days to see the players, try to lift their spirit and then we cancelled the day off to prepare tactically a little our ideas with them.”
“I think it was fine though we have some problems, but we didn’t allow Leicester to create too much and we were still in the game.”
“There was a feeling that the team was maybe stronger mentally and even tactically.” “But you cannot change things in three days.”
“One week after we have the derby so more difficult, almost impossible; I could see a great reaction from the team but still I could feel from the first half that they’re a side who lack confidence.”
Nothing yet on the Rob Elliot injury from Rafa and we don’t yet know if Coloccini will be available for the Norwich game on Saturday, but it’s unlikely.
Karl Darlow will come in for Rob and it’s important that Karl has the confidence for the vital eight games of the run-in.
It’s a huge challenge for the 25 year-old, but also a huge opportunity for him to show what he can do for the side.
He will get all the support necessary from the Newcastle fans – that’s for sure.