Benitez – This Is Why I Am Confident About The Future

Rafa Benitez seemed a happy man after the 2-0 win at Derby County last night (so were the fans) and he was pleased with the way the players are trying to put into operation the things they are learning on the training field.

Rafa is convinced the team can play better and knowing Rafa, he’s absolutely determined the team will improve and get better as the season progresses, which is one reason he has said he is confident about the future.

But the lads will be training this morning as we have a game at QPR in front of a sold old Loftus Road  stadium in London on Tuesday night.


Rafa Benitez at end of game at Derby yesterday

At the iPro (Pride Park) Stadium yesterday the lads played in front of over 30,000 fans – about 3,000 short of capacity.

This is what Rafa Benitez said after the game:

“You try to enjoy it, at least on the journey back. Then we have to be ready for the next one.” “We will train on Sunday and see how the players are.”

“After that we will decide the best options and the best players for the next game. We don’t have too much time, but we’ll try to enjoy.”

“We still have plenty of room for improvement and the team is doing well.”

“But there are things we can improve.” “The commitment is there and they try to do what we ask them.”

“That is the reason why I have to have confidence and be positive about the future.”  “You never know in football, you can play well and lose.”

“But if they follow instructions, work hard and show their quality they will do well. Look at the second goal.”

“Instead of keeping the ball there they produced a cross and changed everything to win the game.”  “You can improve in defence, in the middle and attack.

“We can improve the way we counter attack and how we attack in general. But I am really pleased with the team and the way they work.

“We know we can play better.”

Newcastle have won five games in a row and we are one behind the six game winning streak Alan Pardew managed in October/November, 2014 following our terrible start to that season and just 4 points from the first seven games.

Pardew ended up leaving the club at the end of 2014.

After we lost 1-0 at Stoke on 29th September and then drew 2-2 at Swansea, we went on a six game winning streak – five in the league.

It started with a 1-0 home win against Leicester City and it included that 2-0 win at Manchester City in the League Cup, the only time we have ever won at the Etihad Stadium.

It would be good if we can beat that streak!

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7 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #1

    Last repost, it’s chase Ed it feels like, for the next few minutes:

    Nice to be able to comment about a game I actually watched in full.

    General comments: Rafa got the balance spot on, surrendering the majority of possession (53%, thought it was more), and generally playing a solid 11. One can’t complain about such a generally solid performance, where the opponents hardly threatened (p.s. they have a scoring problem), but, our 3 shots on target are something to think about. On a positive note, loved it that Rafa was coaching from the sidelines. You could hear him shouting for everyone to come out and press the second they played a back-pass. Even the opponents may have been unnerved.

    Derby are a team full of very talented footballers, when they get it right they’ll be beating teams. So, good we played them now.

    Our players all earned their salaries. Still, Perez and Gayle could’ve done better, you could say. Ritchie too, though less so and though he was excellent defensively.

    MOM was a hard one. Gouffy for scoring a cracker (and tilting the game solidly in our favour) and putting in a shift? Anita for eliminating the threat of that tricky little guy, and more? The other 3 defenders for being super solid throughout? Shelvey who, despite his usual passes to… imaginary players and occasional switching off, was battling all over, generally passed well, had a calming influence, and instead of pointing was there himself? Yedlin for being genuinely talented and fast (and possibly scoring)? (PS. he had very few minutes)…Finally went with unfancied Colback. He covered every blade, hardly allowed anyone to breathe around him, and probably had 100% accuracy. A top top performance for that position.

    PS. Charlie, saw your assessment, good stuff. Yes, Lascelles very solid and dominant and Diame decent. Maybe I was swayed by two occasions when he could’ve set up Gayle and Yedlin for easy shots. In defence to Colback, I suspect those passes and that sort of play is exactly what was needed from him.

  • expatmag

    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #2


    I dont like tempting fate. Anything could go wrong with possibly the worst being a top english or european side tempting Rafa away. Lets hope not.

    As for the game, we are looking more confident with every passing game and the fact we are keeping clean sheets is a major confident boost to the defence.

    I hope he doesnt change the defence in particular because they are starting to look a good solid unit. Mbemba and Lascelles are potentially top 6 premiership quality. Anita has found a new lease of life and whilst most on here scathe Dummett, I think they miss a lot of the excellent defensive covering he does. Put a decent winger like hopefully Atsu in front of him and there is a good combination waiting there.

    I like the organusation Rafa has jnstilled and the two basic elements of yhe game that I have been screaming out for in the past 5 or 6 years of closing diwn pressure and movement off the ball is now being seen and improving with each passing game.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #3

    The last time we had a positive GD was back in 2012.

  • sing in the corner

    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #4

    This squad depth we suddenly have is the biggest factor in our favour when it comes to grinding through this season. It’s really hitting home – the reality of hiking down to Derby and back, then back down to London 3 days later. Long slog this!
    If teams are starting to look like they’re shagged oot by the end of games compared to us now… Imagine 30 games in in the new year on heavy pitches with the winter still wearing on.

  • Very Terry

    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #5

    Great to see Gouffy winning the vote on here for MOM after being so unfancied (dead wood?) for so long.
    I watched various dodgy streams last night (2.30 am kick off here) and saw maybe 25% of the game in various languages and states of pixelation. I missed the second goal 🙁 but saw the first one # thunderc**t!
    I voted for Shelvey as MOM coz it’s easy to make out his head when everyone else is just black and white pixels.
    And how about Armstrong’s goal for Barnsley?
    And we have something in common with the Makems now; we both hold 2nd places in our divisions.
    Good times, in Rafa we trust 😀

  • sing in the corner

    Sep 11, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    Comment #6

    Oh and a good manager who actually has functioning eyes and a football brain…

  • SA Toon

    Sep 11, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #7

    #Jail – It’s an unusual feeling having all these clean sheets and the best goal difference in the league! Hopefully we can keep it up. A win against QPR and then it’s back to fortress SJP. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but things are certainly looking up at the moment.


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