Benitez – I’m Happy – Our Team Spirit Is Fantastic

Rafa Benitez was very happy with the win at Derby County tonight and it was a good professional performance from the lads.

Goals from Yoan Gouffran after 20 minutes and then from American DeAndre Yedlin in stoppage time were enough to propel us into second place in the Championship, 4 points behind Huddersfield who had a good 1-0 win at Leeds United today.


Yoan Gouffran scores the first goal

This is what a very pleased Rafa Benitez said after the game

“I was happy with both. To win was the most important thing but to keep a clean sheet is important for the defense and the goalkeeper.”

“I think that still we have plenty of room for improvement. The team is doing quite well but after a while we were under a bit of pressure. The team spirit was fantastic.”

“Our idea was to try and control the game. We know they can play well and play in between the lines. In the end it was a perfect result but it was a tough game.”

“If you want to go up and stay at the top of the table you have to work hard.”  “Players who were here before, maybe they weren’t playing at the level expected.”  

“Now they are doing everything to do well for the team, the club and the fans.”  “Everyone now is trying hard and that’s the best news for the manager.”

“It was a great win for the players, the staff and the fans, but we still have plenty of room for improvement./em>

We would have been disappointed if Rafa – the perfectionist and workaholic – hadn’t mentioned there was room for improvement.


The manager has got the lads all working for each other and it seems to us that winning mentality Rafa keeps talking about – is starting to show through.

But it’s only one win and one game and the team has to be ready to go again at Loftus Road on Tuesday night – another very tough game for us.

But things are starting to look up – just a little.

Howay the Lads!!

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7 comments so far

  • clinath@ed

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #1

    Expected September to be a difficult month for us. Good start, keep it up.

  • Spitfire

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #2

    OOOH I am starting to believe now

  • Slank

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #3


    Like the game against Brighton it was difficult to choice one standout performance from any of the players.

    It was a great team effort. What was particularly pleasing is how hard the players worked without the ball. They never stopped closing down the Derby players.

    If I have to choose a MOTM it has to be Shelvey. He was tireless for the full ninety minutes. His passing was controlled. He refrained from doing outrageous passes. He looks so much more slimmer and fitter and seems to be enjoying himself.

    Others who should be mentioned were Lascelles who was a rock in defence. Anita who is surely our best right back. Solid performance again. And the much maligned (of previous seasons but no more) Gouffron who worked tirelessly down the wing and showed again what a great technique he possesses at striking the ball.

    Well done lads.

  • Legolas

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #4

    From previous post. Toon tang. I agree about Dummett. He is always solid at the back. He looked poor in prem as we didn’t have any out and out wingers who did the job going forward. Maybe Gouffran has found his level or maybe he is being managed. Just saying.

  • giimps

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #5

    Uddersfield play Brighton on Tuesday, a draw or win for Brighton would be a good result for us as long as we match or better uddersfield I will be happy.
    If we play the controlled game vs qpr we should do ok, be hard to break down and use our pace late in the game…..I’m a little worried about or concentration levels towards the end of the 1st half, giving dangerous free kicks and corners away seems to be part of our dna at the moment…..if it wasn’t for the quality of some of our opposition we could be put in trouble by doing this …….it’s probably nitpicking by me considering how cr@p we’ve been for years but I still get jumpy towards the end of each half if we’re not 2 goals up

  • Oldgit1

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #6

    I bet a few of you was as surprised as I was replacing gouffram with Yedlin, I was crying out for Lassera (wrong spelling I know) then Yedlin scores. What do I know. Brilliant by the Gaffa .

  • wynsleap

    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #7

    A good solid performance from Rafa’s boys but how much better it would have been if we had replaced the usual suspects Colback and Dummett. Anita MOM for me with Lascelles not far behind. The middle two at the back are forging a solid partnership and look as if they are going to eat opposing attacks this season as it wears on.
    Very disappointed in Gayle. He looked short of ideas and was quite anonymous. Still not convinced he’s our next No. 9.
    Yedlin looked promising and Gouffran has to be recommended for his application and renewed performances. At least one Frenchman with the bit between his teeth.
    Keep it going lads – it’s gonna be a long hard season.


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