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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 Pleased Newcastle Now Improving In This Vital Area

8:34 am, Monday, October 3rd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 4 Comments

Over the last several years and most certainly over the last two years you cannot accuse Newcastle of being mentally strong in any way and usually when we went behind in a game that was it – we would lose it and the only question was by how many.

Even when we played well at times and went ahead we are so weak mentally that we could lose the lead at any time.

Although this may be painful – think back to the league match at Manchester City last year.

We were 1-0 up after 18 minutes through Mitrovic and then conceded six goals in 20 minutes from the 42nd minute on – with Aguero getting five and De Bruyne getting the other goal and we were hammered and disgraced 6-1.

Again – sorry to bring that up on this Monday morning.



Rafa Benitez on Saturday

Rafa has been working on improving the whole mentality at Newcastle to make the team much tougher and to get the players thinking about winning every single game.

This is what he said after the very good 1-0 result at Rotherham on Saturday:

“It’s vital to have the right mentality.” “After these kind of games (home to Norwich), when we’ve come from behind in the final moments everybody is so happy, talking too much about how the team is doing.”

“It’s then important to tell the players: ‘Look, we have had this problem before, so we have to stay concentrated and focused.’”

“We did it against Rotherham, a good team who were pushing and pressing, particularly in the first 20 minutes, when they made it difficult.”

“Then we started reacting better and improved and got the win.”

“If you have quality you will win.” “Today the game-plan was to work hard and do our best in terms of physicality and the tempo of the game.”

“We won three points and we did what we had to do. The name of the opposition does not matter, you still have to try to win.”

“The other day, against Norwich, we went behind before we won.” “Today was just as difficult as Norwich, they were pushing and pushing.”

“We have to work and organise the team and make sure we are doing the right things every single time because if you make one mistake you could pay for that.

“To win against Norwich and to perform at this level and win is massive for the confidence of the team.”

“This league is very difficult – and we know that. But we also know that we have quality in this squad.”

Those are really good words from Rafa and they show his philosophy in football and how to become a winner.

What do you think about this?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ScoopSouthAfrica // Oct 3, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Possibly a first from South Africa…..Yeh

  • 2 Jib // Oct 3, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    How could I forget Ciaran Clark – he was outstanding against Rotherham !

  • 3 magscar // Oct 3, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    I think one of Rafa’s underrated attributes is to keep teams focussed because of the level he has managed at. There is a lot of hype about us as a club and team in the Championship and his message to players is clear and reinforced as he sees the need.

    Most of us perhaps thought it would be pretty much like our last 2 spells in this division but it is tougher this time around.

    Not always pretty but is effective and on course. Can’t 2cnd guess the Man but apart from Firebug who has so far 🙂

  • 4 Ian Toon // Oct 3, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    I see that Villa are said to be looking for a new manager. Wagner at Huddersfield is being mentioned as a strong candidate based it seems on Steve Round taking in a number of their games and being seen in Wagner’s company at a recent Huddersfield game against QPR.

    Wagner’s got a reputation in the Championship for ‘full-throttle football’ based on high pressing and intensity- Klopp’s schooling but playing in the Championship with more games you need a large and fully motivated squad. I now Blackley’s been impressed. But Villa are lagging so far behind on points at this stage of the season to the likes of Huddersfield and the toon. I would be surprised if Wagner moves on.

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