Benitez – We Must Maintain This – And Never Give Up

Most of us are still coming to terms with Newcastle’s incredible late finish last night when two goals deep into stoppage time were enough to change the result from a Norwich 3-2 win to a Newcastle 4-3 win – and now we are just one point behind the Canaries in the league table and 3rd top.

Rafa has spoken and given a number of interviews after the game and as usual he is cool and analytical but he’s also a proud man today – proud of his players and proud of the fans who stuck with the team.

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Rafa Benitez congratulating players after the game

This is what Rafa has told the club’s web-site:

“I’m really proud of the players and the fans, I think it is incredible. We deserved to have three goals in the first half but we were losing 1-3 in the second half, so it was incredible.”

“The reaction of the team, they were pushing to the end, so that means that we have a very good team spirit and the work rate of the players, everything, was so positive, and I’m really proud.”

“It’s important for the future to have this mentality – you don’t give up, and you have to keep the hope until the end, it means if you get a result you will be stronger for it.”

“But in football, you’ve got to enjoy today, relax a little bit, and then concentrate on the next game. It will be difficult, and still we have a lot of months to go.”

“I had confidence in the team – we were doing well. We made one mistake in the second half and then everything was against us, and it was the same with the deflection.” 

“I was really disappointed because we didn’t deserve to be losing, and now I’m really pleased and really proud because we won, and we deserved to win.”

“It was really important to score just after Norwich’s third goal because if not, you could see we were having problems because the game was stopping for different incidents.”

“And then it was against us, so to score the goal and keep the momentum was really good for us.”

Benitez himself walked to the center circle after the game hugging each player as he went and then he was lifted off the ground by a certain Mr. Mitrovic – yes the same one who threw Gayle to the ground after he had scored.

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Rafa Benitez being hoisted aloft by Mitrovic

This will go down in Newcastle’s long history as one of the greatest comebacks ever – and rivals the 4-4 draw against Arsenal back in February 2011 after we were 4-0 down after 26 minutes and we scored four goals in the last 26 minutes to level the scores.

What a fabulous win!

Here’s the current Championship table.

PosTeamGamesGDPoints
1Newcastle464594
2Brighton463493
3Reading46485
4Sheffield Wednesday461581
5Huddersfield46-281
6Fulham462880

Comments welcome.