When Rafa first came into the club in March it took him a good four games to put things right with the fourth game being a disaster at Southampton and we all were almost certain after that we had not chance.
We collected just one point in those first four games and lost at relegation candidates Norwich and drew 1-1 at Sunderland at home.
But then we won three and drew three as Rafa worked out the best system and the best players to get the job done for Newcastle.
The team started to buz and the fans started to buz.
Rafa now has players he wants at the club and his interviews after the game showed there were lots of things the players were not doing last night – so he knows just exactly what went wrong and will try to fix those in training next week.
Rafa Benitez after the game last night
Yes. the defense let in a sloppy goal again from a set-play but Rafa was quite pleased with the display at the back, since they did well to deal with a number of other crosses into the box and we thought Hanley looked a good strong defender – he will make a big difference at the back.
Success is never a straight line path either – there are always bumps and challenges along the way.
Last night Newcastle were not at their best, but we also unlucky and should have had a penalty after 35 minutes and then in the second half we had most of the possession but labored to both create chances and then score from the couple of good chances we had.
That is not too dissimilar to what happened during the first four games under Rafa against Leicester, Sunderland Norwich and Southampton.
And he hasn’t used new signings Ciaran Clark or Mo Diame yet either.
The positive thing is that Rafa will have some games to sort stuff out and then if he can have a team performing like they did in those last six games of last season we should be able to get one of those automatic promotion spots.
It was extra harmful last night because it was live on TV around the world and we didn’t do well and for a team that’s supposed to walk the championship this season we even lost the first game.
So there was a lot of criticism from all over – but that’s to be expected.
But it’s not going to be easy and what we have to do now is to keep the faith with our players and Rafa and give the manager the support he has asked for – we have to stick together.
This plight we are in is nothing that cannot be corrected with some wins in the four game left this month – with three of those games being at home.
If we can get 10 points from those four games we will have 10 points from our first five games and on track to get 92 points for the season and almost certain promotion.
We need to show patience – which is difficult for some of us – especially after the disastrous last two years of consistent losing.
But we shouldn’t make things worse either.
Keep the faith.
Howay The Lads!!