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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Rafa Delighted – This Was A Big Step Forward

6:42 pm, Saturday, August 20th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 18 Comments

Rafa Benitez was delighted with the gutsy performance of the Newcastle players today in the tough 1-0 win at Bristol City.

City looked a good side, but Rafa had expected a hard game and we certainly got one.

newcastle players celebtate

Newcastle players celebrate after Dwight Gayle goal

But this performance has to be pleasing the way the lads showed guts and character and held on for what were 3 good points as we try to get our season on track after a poor start.

It was also in front of the biggest crowd at Ashton Gate in 26 years.

This is what a delighted Rafa Benitez said after the game today:

“Dwight Gayle can play in the Premier League for sure. He has played there before and, hopefully, he can play there for us in the next two years or so.”

“We knew it would be this kind of game and we had to work really hard as a team. We knew there would be a lot of high balls into our box.”

“We showed character and spirit today and will need that for the rest of the season.”

“We have to keep working as hard as we did today and then show our quality. City had different options, different ways of playing and they will do well this season.”

“It is important to be able to attack and score goals, but we also need to show spirit and be able to play this way.”

“This was a big step forward.”

With defense having been one of the weaknesses this season, this indeed could be a big step forward – and now we need to win our next two games – both at home.

We play Cheltenham on Tuesday night in the second round of the EFL (former League) Cup and then a very tough league game against high-flying Brighton and former manager Chris Hughton next Saturday in the 5:30 pm kick-off game.

The there is the two week International break and the end of the transfer window on August 31st.

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:46 PM

    manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    brighton,derby,qpr,wolves and villa are our next 5 games
    we need at least 9 from them and hopefully 6 from wolves and brighton to keep them close
    tough month ahead thats for sure

  • 2 toon kk // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    Gayle is the type of player/ finisher we have missed for a long time, a big part of the reasons why we’re in the championship now.

  • 3 manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    jail it was just a joke as you actually typed “3 games in 3 goals”

  • 4 Jail for Ashley // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    Aye should have used a comma, three games in, three goals. Doh, silly me

  • 5 2_goal_tino // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    On the train back from the game, here are my comments:
    1. I’m done with Sels – I’ve been to every match so far and have been watching him closely in all of them and see little to inspire confidence. He WILL cost us games if he carries on with this form. He’s aerially atrocious and opts to punch even when being challenged by a 5ft10 fat lump like Tomlin. Then he gets caught in no man’s land neither either stay in your line or go to the ball – no half measures. In the whole game, I only saw him direct the defence once. A keeper has the best view of an attack and should be integral in setting up the defensive positions. His communication is poor and by all accounts it is not a language issue because he speaks English. Also he seems to lack a footballing brain, in the final 20 minutes Lascelles had to tell him 5+ times to kick to the corner to waste more time because all his kicks were going straight and just being immediately collected by their keeper. Darlow has to play!
    2. Gayle, Ritchie and Hayden continue to impress.
    3. Solid and good games from Mbemba, Lascelles, Anita and Clark.
    4. Gouffran could be a very useful player for us this season. He was always open and worked hard in defence. Only issue is his lack of left foot meaning all attacks were slowed down when he had to cut back on to his right.
    5. Midfield creativity and a general lack of physicality remain an issue. Diame showed glimpses and his ball to Gayle was superb for the goal but he wasn’t ever close enough to Gayle. Our reliance on wing play (particularly Ritchie) is useless.with Gayle as a sole striker. Mitrovic will be able to help with this but Diame should have been able to do more today. He was always just too late to get in to the box.

    Anyway, there is still a lot to improve but a win is a win and a clean sheet is invaluable.

  • 6 Oleg G // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    9 is an under acheavement. That means 3 wins and 2 loses.
    Or 2 Wins and 3 Draws.

    We should be wanting to get 10-12
    3 Wins + 1 Draw + 1 Lose
    3 Wins + 2 Draws
    4 Wins + 1 Lose

    We need to keep at least a 65% success rate this season. We had a success rate of 74% last time we were in the Championship.
    9 out of 15 points is just 60%.

  • 7 manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    i got ya wat odds ya get?

  • 8 Jail for Ashley // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    The atmosphere next Saturday will be unbelievable, an extra two and a half hours for the singing section to get tanked up, a thumping win and a couple of goals for Mitro against Cheltenham, beautiful summer evening and the flags out en masse, the bairn is going to see a bit of difference to Vitesse Arnhem 😮

  • 9 lochinvar // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    With the games coming up it will be good to have Mitro back adding some physicality up front to occupy defenders but also if we turned up with Das Bost that could be a game changer …. Rafa has indicated that some players are coming in so let’s hope the squad gets stronger as a result

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    10-1 £100

  • 11 manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    oleg they are all very tough games so thats why i said at least 9 im hoping for more of course

  • 12 Nufc-83 // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    2 goal tino that seems like a good assessment and I agree on Sels we can’t give him much more time as he will definately cost us games.

  • 13 Jail for Ashley // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    That’s quite damning on Sels, he’s not inspiring confidence is he. I hope Rafa doesn’t just keep persevering with him just because he bought him, if he does stick with him I hope it’s on the advise of Harper and the other GK coaches.

  • 14 manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    didn’t think you’d get that high, looks like good money so far, ya better hope rafa doesn’t rotate gayle so much when mitro is back tho

  • 15 Oleg G // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    manxpie // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    I understand.

  • 16 nufc786 // Aug 20, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    So Palace have signed Benteke… There are also rumors of them signing Loic Remy…. What would people think about taking Connor Wickham? He can score goals in the championship… When he was on loan to Shef Wed he scored 9 goals in 17 apps
    or maybe put a bid in for Ulloa…

  • 17 Nufc-83 // Aug 20, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Nufc78 I would be delighted with either players you mention but doubt they would drop as they would have prem teams wanting them if they became available (as with Richie guess you can’t be sure though).

  • 18 James RS // Aug 21, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    Good win but still rank Sels number 4 goalkeeper could be a mistake when we have Krul Eliot and Darlow. Could he handle the Premier league like The others he doesn’t inspire me with confidence yet

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