One huge problem with the Newcastle team all season has been the inability of our players to play for the full game – and we have played well in some halves but rarely have been able to sustain the good play over the full 95 minutes of the game.
And since Rafa Benitez arrived at the club four weeks ago today, that trend has continued in his four games in charge.
At Norwich last week we were poor in the first half and good in the second half but still managed to lose the game even though it was in stoppage time that we conceded the winner – another poor goal to concede.
Karl Darlow – Newcastle goalkeeper
25 year-old Karl Darlow has come into goal for the injured Rob Elliot and Karl played well at Carrow Road and certainly didn´t let the side down.
Karl has talked today about what´s needed for us to take the slim chance we have of still surviving this season:
“We have to take some positives from the second-half fight back at Carrow Road,” “As long as it’s still possible, we have to keep believing.”
“It’s shown in the Premier League this season, teams are beating teams that you didn’t think they’d beat.”
“We’ve got to be optimistic and stay optimistic, and hopefully have a second-half performance like that again away to Southampton next weekend.”
“It’s no use playing like we did after the break – we need a first-half performance as well.” “We need to show 90 minutes of character.”
“It’s tough to take because we conceded that goal on the brink of half-time, and if we’d gone in at 0-0, it might have been a different story.”
“But the facts are we lost 3-2 and we have to deal with it and move on to the next seven games.”
It looks like Lee Charnley and company waited far too long with Steve McClaren in charge after we were in the bottom four all season – and in our last six games we have one draw and five defeats and that has put us in what looks like a perilous situation and almost certain relegation.
How this happened and why this happened will be a good question after the end of the season, but the fact our players never bothered too much in the games when things got tough will be one big reason.
They have shown themselves to be too mentally weak.
Rafa Benitez has already told the squad that even though the best players will now leave the club this summer it will still be a black mark on their resumes.
It’s all very sad for the long-suffering Newcastle fans.