Since Rafa came into the club he has presided over 13 competitive games and 6 of those have been away games.
Of those six we have lost 4 and drawn 2, so we still have to get a win away from home under Rafa – so maybe today at Bristol City?
Certainly if we are going to be promoted next May we have to start winning a lot of games on the road and the sooner the better.
Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park on Wednesday night
In fact the last time we won away from home was back in December when we won 2-1 with a stoppage time goal from Ayoze Perez.
And we then lost 10 successive away games before we stopped the rot at Liverpool on April 23rd, and after being 2-0 down at the break we came back for a very good 2-2 draw.
This is what Rafa has said about away games:
“Yes, sometimes it is character.” “Sometimes it’s a lot of things as well but I would like to be sure that we will pick the right players for the away games – and also for the home games – but this game maybe is too soon to prepare things because maybe we still don’t have the squad ready.”
“But I said the other day, after August 31 we have to be sure we have the team, we have the squad, and everybody has to know what they have to do and so we need to show the character at home, but also away.”
“I would like to say ‘yes, we are very close’ (to correcting our away form), because we have this game against Bristol, but it’s something we will have to see.”
“The team is training well, but when you have three games a week you do not have too much time to prepare things.”
“We are looking to cut out mistakes and we are doing things to analyse Bristol but we have not had too much time.”
“We will see but I am confident we will improve – we must improve – and I think we will but I will not say from this weekend, but over time I am sure that this team will be stronger away.”
“Tactically, the team will improve and everybody needs to know what they have to do.”
“If you have this then you can win games away; being organised and having a good counter attack or whatever, keeping the ball a little bit better, then you will have more chances to win.”
“There are so many games that you have to win away.”
It would not be good to lose today and we would have three defeats on our first four games.
We only lost four games all season the last time we played in the Championship under Chris Hughton and won 30 of them.
A win would be terrific and show we are on our way.