Rafa Benitez Has Feet Firmly On The Ground After 4-0 Win

Rafa Benitez saw a much better full game display from his Newcastle side today – at least compared to that first half at Doncaster on Wednesday night.

And while he is happy we won and played better and kept a clean sheet, he says there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Let’s just say he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

rafa in press confernce after loverken game

Rafa Benitez at press conference

This is what Rafa said about the performance today and he was not getting too carried away:

“I am happy because you always are when your team win.” “It’s good to score four goals and get a clean sheet but we are still at the beginning of the season, and in preseason.”

“There is plenty of room of improvement. I am happy but we have to keep working.” “I have seen an improvement in some things, obviously the play was fine but still I want to see more.”

“I don’t know the physical condition of the other team but I could see them trying hard in the early part of the game.”

“We got an early goal and it is not easy when you play friendlies. Sometimes you win because you are closer (fitness wise) but sometimes you don’t want to get injuries.”

“If it goes to 2-0 early sometimes your opponents don’t push as much as they have to.” “We’re not ready for Fulham – not yet.” “We’re still trying to improve the squad but you have to give players minutes.”

“Next week we will have the team a little bit closer to the one that starts the season.”

It will be interesting to see if he introduces Jesus Gamez into the starting line-up on Tuesday night at Southend United or next Saturday, when we are at home to SBV Vitesse.

And whether Grant Hanley has joined Newcastle soon enough to be in with a chance of starting the game at Fulham a week next Friday.

Hopefully things are coming together and we can start the season with a good display and hopefully all 3 points at Craven Cottage in our first game in the Championship for over six years.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #1

    BandB IN!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #2

    Not Blackley btw!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #3

    “But I think that was the best decision for him and for us.”
    It is so bloody refreshing knowing this statement hasn’t come under duress and Rafa honestly believes that 25M for a player he had to drop when the going got tough was good business.
    Unlike this statement from KK’s on Milner which was done to save face and to stop fans kicking off.
    “I would like to say though that it was my my decision to sell him”
    And Pardews
    “I’d like to dedicate this win (against Chelsea) to the owner” despite having signed absolutely nobody during the window
    Or Carvers on Santon:
    “He drove the situation, not us – not the club, he drove it”

  • beermonkey

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #4

    evening all

    is there any other way of buying away day tickets without paying 35pieces gold to become a member

  • Belfast

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Jesper in!

  • NUFCPaul

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #6

    Spoof – want to know what’s more boring than looking at pics of a pre-season friendly (or pics of the lads training – that was the other one you were whinging about the other week)? It’s seeing you moan about the pics themselves.

    If you know you don’t like pics of training sessions or friendly matches then don’t click on the story. Is that so hard for you? Or do you prefer to look at them, whine to yourself and then come on here and complain to us too?

  • Belfast

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Definitely a much better pre season than last year’s farce so far.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #8

    You can’t say that or Jiberish will call you a tw@t and that will cause disharmony between Jack Root, (c)arl and Ian Toon!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #9

    If we could rotate j?sper with TDSarf, bills son and paul90210 I could live with that.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #10

    You could get in touch with Ibiza and I could get you them with my ST.

  • beermonkey

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #11


    cheers for that
    its not for a while yet, i want to goto brighton

    last 2 times i have been in the north the stand and seen us lose
    this time i am going in with the away fans to see us win

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #12

    No worries beer,
    Get in touch with Ibiza and get my personal email and we’ll sort something out.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    Comment #13
  • beermonkey

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #14


    thanks i already had ibiza email

    but i will drop him a line

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #15


  • Average_Contents

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #16

    What a refreshing change that is eh, blog members trying to help others out.

    It doesn’t beat a certain little cretinous maggot threatening to put up someone’s bank details though.

    That was just epic.

  • beermonkey

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #17


    it would appear i have missed lots in the last few months

  • Mag52

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #18

    Moonraker (previous post),

    I admire optimism in anyone, but I don’t see us finishing in the automatic promotion places in the coming season.
    It’s a tough old league we’re now in and could take some getting out of.

  • Yo-yo

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #19


    I’d be interested to know how could be a possibility.
    I put it down to attention seeking, with a malicious streak

  • firebug666

    Jul 23, 2016 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #20

    I do believe that Rafa will get us automatic promotion, He is bringing in players to do a particular job in the team, he is coaching them mentally as well as physically, and we now have a few players in the squad with proper leadership qualities.

    We won comfortably 4-0 today, but Rafa while happy with the result wants to see more improvement in the team. That bodes well for the coming season, not just from Rafa but the whole coaching staff will bring out the best in the players we have, and if they have to punch above their weight they will.

    Ok this is just my opinion but I do firmly believe Rafa will do the business and take us back up.

  • firebug666

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #21

    Looks like Steven Taylor is going to sign for Portland Timbers.

  • Offkey

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Sissoko congratulating Gini on his move via Twitter makes me dislike him even more

  • firebug666

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    Comment #23

    This is actually very funny, if Timbers have signed sicknote Taylor they may be in for a shock.

    “He is a well respected player and a highly talented. He would be a great addition to the Timbers backline, especially as center back Liam Ridgewell battles injury. The Timbers have had trouble staying healthy this season, so this transfer could help provide depth to the Timbers backline. After the Timbers transferred GK Adam Kwarasey to Rosenborg BK, they have room in their salary cap for another great transfer.”

    How long before Taylor is back on the sick?

  • jimmysmith

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #24

    The squad will have the balance and depth it hasn’t had for many years. We will have lost 3 players that probably would have been worth one and a half each at this level, but I don’t think the club knew how to employ them most effectively before Benitez, and since the relegation their situation has been compromised. So in many ways we didn’t deserve to keep them, and so going back up without them will be the purest way to do it, and a fresh start that is more appropriate. It will make the season tighter, but we have Rafa, who may be as influential to our season as the three together will have been, and along with him the madness that has accompanied so much of Ashley’s tenure does appear over, and with it we also appear to have our club back. That’s my bright side, after an moralising win.

  • beermonkey

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #25


    sods law says taylor will prob go a season or 2 injury free

  • nufcursed

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #26

    if we manage to offload the following, we’ll be fine:


    that’ll generate some more money to buy a couple of decent replacements!

    i was at today’s game, who impressed me were:

    sterry (looks a decent back-up)
    lascelles (very commanding)
    mbemba (good as usual)
    anita (looks more a full back than a midfielder to me)
    hayden (plays it simple)
    colback (will be a very good championship player)
    aarons (will start to use his skills better)
    thauvin (can be a real asset if we keep him)
    perez (MUST keep him, he’s our most gifted player)

    did ok:
    saivet (as CB)
    dummett (more a CB than a full back)
    janmaat (plays better in midfield)
    armstrong (needs to get his talent up a level)

    not impressed with:
    gayle (doesn’t look like a very good player)
    mitrovic (awful on the ball, so slow!will need to play a lot better)
    gamez (nothing special imo)
    gouffran (must get rid of)

    team next season:


    hayden/tiote/thauvin/saivet/de jong

    if we can sign another attacking midfielder/winger/striker

    we’ll have a VERY good squad

  • Average_Contents

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #27


    Nothing to write home about tbh mate. Just the usual shite by jizz stain.

    I’m not as regular anymore either. Can’t be arsed with all the bollox.

    Yo Yo

    Probably correct as we all know that vile streak exists as much as he unsuccessfully tries to hide it.

    Racist, homophobic, xenophobic, angry little man who posts shite links that hardly ever work because it knows nowt unless googles involved and even then it’s hit and miss still.

  • Average_Contents

    Jul 23, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #28

    I mean who CAN’T remember that great Swansea away win with papiss scoring two excellent goals.

    Except it wasn’t papiss, it was Ba apparently….

    As I said it’s a wos.

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 23, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #29

    Not impressed with Gayle, dear me what you want him to do score 3 in every match.

    Hit the post and then Scored a cracking goal on his debut, should have scored in the second match, setup a goal for Perez today.

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 23, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #30

    How about we all rate the players old and new at the end of the season, the season haven’t started yet for crying out loud.

  • welshgeordie9

    Jul 23, 2016 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #31

    One player i want to do well and so far he has and that’s Jamie Sterry, hope he’s In the first team squad this season.

  • lesh

    Jul 23, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #32

    Didn’t take long for Wijnaldum to compare us with the bindippers:


    I appreciate that new signings are expected to sing the praises of their new club, but Wijnaldum’s gone a bit over the top with this one. Yes, everyone’d understand if he’d left a minor club but considering he didn’t bother his ar$e for half of the season and helped get us relegated, his comments are a tad rich.

  • davis_toons

    Jul 24, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #33

    Nothing is wrong with Gini Interview.

    In his first season, score 11 goals. Shift around the field just to suit other player’s position most of the times.

    Did the January Millions transfer players did any impact?

    Any manager would rather have him sitting on their bench….(than JS)

  • davis_toons

    Jul 24, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #34

    If January Millions was spent on the right players..do you think we will still be where we are now?

    Just spend on another Gini or someone with 5 goals in them.

    Still glad that Rafa is finally here.


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