During his press conference today Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew thinks that Newcastle have improved under Rafa Benitez – although we haven’t yet got the points to show for that – with three draws and one win in the first seven games Benitez has managed.
But five of those points have come in the last three games against Swansea, Manchester City and Liverpool so a win and two draws in those games was an excellent return.
Alan Pardew and Rafa Benitez
And the team played very well apart from the first half at Liverpool that saw us 2-0 down after 30 minutes before storming back in the second half to get a well deserved 2-2 draw.
Alan Pardew believes Newcastle are now a much stronger team under Benitez:
“What I will say is they have improved,” . “They are a much stronger team. Rafa is an experienced manager who has managed at the very top of the game.”
“He has got his team in a much better place to win the game – that worries me. My job now is as Crystal Palace manager, and I have to win the game.”
It’s just a pity that McClaren wasn’t fired after the 5-1 Chelsea debacle, when Rafa could have had 18 days uninterrupted training with the full Newcastle squad.
Newcastle wouldn’t be in relegation trouble now if the former Liverpool manager had been brought in earlier, but it was yet another mistake by those running Newcastle from the top.
We must win this game on Saturday and this will set us up to possibly avoid relegation by then wining the final two games at Aston Villa and at home to Tottenham on the final day of the season.
It’s still possible.