Rafa didn’t look a very happy man at the end of the game at home to Huddersfield on Saturday afternoon and that was the first time he had lost a game at St. James’ Park since he joined Newcastle back in March.
It didn’t come at a good time for Newcastle either, after we had been beaten 1-0 at Fulham in our opening game of the season.
So the red-hot favorites for promotion have already lost their first two games and we lost only four games in the whole of the 2009-2010 season when we were promoted with a massive 102 points.
Rafa Benitez after Huddersfield loss
Newcastle went behind for the second game in a row just before half time and then drew level through Dwight Gayle in the second half, but as we were pressing to get the winner late in the game, the Terriers broke away and scored the winner after 82 minutes.
The team was booed off at half time and booed off at full time, so how quickly things can change at Newcastle.
Rafa was calm and collected yesterday and this is how he responded to the (very) bad start the team has made and to the booing that resulted on Saturday – and what changes are necessary:
“We know it is a long competition, but what we have to do is put a lot of things right. We need to keep working.”
“We changed a lot of things this summer, and we still think we are going in the right direction.” “Now we have to prove these things on the pitch.”
“Especially at home, so we know that the Championship is quite difficult and it’s not a surprise to see teams defending like this. They’ll all play counter attack.”
“We have to move the ball quicker and beat players in the wide areas.” “We don’t have the target man so we can’t play long balls all the time then see what happens.”
“We can change our style if necessary depending on what players we have on the pitch.” “What we did well was to improve in the second half and react.”
“We have to keep the same tempo and same intensity in both halves and not make the mistakes we have.”
“We’ve made three mistakes in two games and conceded three goals.”
That’s about it – three mistakes equals three goals and two defeats, so we have to cut them out.
We really need a (big) win tonight against Reading, but the confidence of our fans has gone down quite a bit with just over 50% thinking we will win this game.