Rafa Benitez is still testing some players and giving them games as he tries to work out who are his key players this season and who to play where during a time of two games a week.
We still have four games to play through August 27th (13 days) starting at home to Reading on Wednesday night.
Rafa Benitez in the sidelines on Saturday
We still haven’t seen Jesus Gamez or Ciaran Clark make a competitive appearance this season, so maybe they will be involved on Wednesday night when we can hopefully get our first win of the season.
That would be very good and Newcastle certainly need a win very quickly to lift the confidence of the players.
This is what Rafa said when he was asked if he was thinking of making changes for Wednesday night’s home game:
“Yeah, I think that the players have to realise that we have to compete,”
“We have a big squad and we have to compete and be ready for what we know that is a very demanding competition, with us having two games a week.”
“We train in a way that everyone knows what they have to do, so it’s a lot easier to change players.”
“But against Huddersfield we were thinking about having better control on the ball, having more possession – we had this, but still it was not enough.”
“So if we have to make changes, we will make changes.”
Rafa conducts tactical sessions some afternoons when he goes through the various positions in the various formations Newcastle play in, so players know exactly what they have to do if they are playing in that specific position.
As Rafa says above, that makes it easy for him to make changes for each game and during the games.
Once the team can get that first win under their belts, we hope the confidence of the side rises significantly and the lads can then play a lot better than in the first two games.