Benitez – It Was Difficult For Everyone – We Have Team Spirit

Aleksandar Mitrovic has done his job well when he started both the last two games against Preston and he scored a brace each time and all four goals were very well taken by the 22 year-old the Serbian striker.

So he has given manager Benitez a problem for next week when we are at home to Cardiff City as to whether he should start Mitro or Dwight Gayle up front – Dwight has 11 goals for us this season already.

We think Mitro could get the nod, but Rafa will watch them both closely in training this week, but maybe Dwight could start in the number 10 role behind Mitrovic?


Rafa Benitez and Simon Grayson shake hands before the game

We have now won our last 7 games and 14 of the last 16 games played and Rafa seems to think which striker to choose next week is a good problem to have:

“It is a very good problem to have the top scorer in the division to come in from the bench.” “I am really pleased because we are a team that is growing.”

“So we have team spirit and we are working for each other, that’s what we will need if we are going to be strong.”

“It wasn’t easy for Mitro because the two center-backs were challenging him all the time.” “It was difficult for everyone.”

“We did well on the pitch and I will say we were controlled, but not too much but at the end it was very difficult.”

“To have no problems in a game is almost impossible and we did really well.”

“I was not nervous or tense near the end.” “I knew we had done well before and in those last 10 minutes it was a case of us being in good position and whether we would be lucky or not.”

“The ball could go one way or the other, you never know.”

Rafa is referring to the stoppage time that went on for almost 10 minutes and right at the death Preston hit the base of the post, so they could have grabbed an equalizer and had two goals after after the 89th minute.

It’s good they didn’t and we came away with all 3 very valuable points,  but it was a (very) hard-fought game and it seems Rafa saw a lot in the game that makes him positive for the future.

And we shouldn’t forget that Karl Darlow deserves great credit and he had a terrific game in goal for us today.

We are top of the league tonight and now 7 points clear of third placed Huddersfield Town if you consider our superior goal difference.

4Sheffield Wednesday461581

Huddersfield and Norwich were both beaten 5-0 on the road this afternoon at Fulham and Brighton respectively.


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Comments welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Sav

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #1

    This game shows our first eleven are not that far above anyone else’s first eleven in this league. It is over the course of the season our strong squad will tell.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #2

    There’s nothing saying that is our best eleven. We are going to dish out more hidings than not this season, we might even like again, I 100% predict we will not get turned over by more than working goals like Norwich and Huddersfield I’d today

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #3

    *get beat

  • one fine day

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #4

    What happened with yedling and the coin throwing?
    Can’t seem to find anything in match reports on it ?

  • Spotlight Kid

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #5

    Especially for Jail, sorry it slipped my mind as for some reason it got blocked earlier….

    Rafa v Hoots (Round 15)

    The Rafalution (16-17) P15 W11 D1 L3 (F32 A12) pts34
    The Hughtonians (09-10) P15 W9 D3 L3 (F22 A9) pts30

    (Interesting that the New Hughtonians down in Sussex have are a point ahead of the 2009-10 pace also!)

  • stuart no9

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #6

    one fine day——-

  • stuart no9

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #7

    oops ill try again

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 29, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Comment #8

    Spotlight kid,
    We are well on course to finish on record points.

  • one fine day

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #9

    7stuart no9 // Oct 29, 2016 at 11:56 PM
    Thanks mate

  • Fostino

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #10

    Plan a strike force is perez. .gayle
    Plan b is mitro..Diame

    Not bad.

    Reckon we might need to another creative influence in winter for cm or winger…Or both.

    We have to be aware goofy..Anita. .Will be out of contact

  • stuart no9

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #11

    one fine day— having probs at the minute but go onto the evening chronicle

  • stuart no9

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:10 AM

    Comment #12

    who thinks 2 up front . mitro gayle, one on either side of goal and perez in the peter beardsley role or mitro up front wuth gayle just behind

  • one fine day

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:13 AM

    Comment #13

    Yes same hate the fact you have fill out a survey to read the articles on there .(chronicle)
    Did a news now search
    Loved he responded on Twitter thanking them for the 20 p
    Others asked if the coin was a transfer bid for beck ford that went astray lol

  • stuart no9

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:17 AM

    Comment #14

    my thoughts are mitro up front gayle just tucking in behind. mitro then can pull off the right for gayle to lay onto or mitro can pull the left of goal dragging the defenders with him leaving a hole for gayle to exploit ,
    In my head i can see it remembering peter beardlsy but would it work in todays game,??? i would like to see if it would work or not

  • one fine day

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #15

    Stuart @ 14
    Would love to see that tried even just for the last 30 if we are comfortable .
    Central defenders would not know what hit them .worth a try if only to keep opposition guessing .
    Wonder when Rafa ,if ever ,last used 442 sure our resident googlemeister could solve that one .

  • Spotlight Kid

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:26 AM

    Comment #16

    Jail, many a slip and all that. Just as much as it is all roses at present there will be sticky periods ahead, I’m worried about January when cold weather injuries combine with the absence of ACON players. Brighton came unstuck last year after heading the table in the first part of the season, they couldn’t buy a win for a while after Xmas and despite a late surge missed out automatic promotion by 2 GOALS (not even points) then flunked the pay offs. Not easy, so hopefully the chequebook is ready to provide contingency…

  • jackball

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #17

    Looking at the run of games through January and they are mostly bottom of the table. Unless things fall apart ( I expect not) we should be looking fine

  • stuart no9

    Oct 30, 2016 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #18

    one fine day — ok it would leave us short in midfield but we have all seen yedlin in the wing back role who can go attack – mid – or defend ok dummitt would be the problem on the left but a good left sided wing back would give balance to the side ???? if it didnt work then back to raffas fav haha

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Oct 30, 2016 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #19

    Great result again today. It’s a pleasure to take in our games these days. Not just because we’re winning, but it’s the whole competent package brought in by, and surrounding Rafa.

    Mitro just gets better and better. He’s rapidly heading towards being one of my favourites of all time. His love of the club since before he came helps to seal it for me. Needs to keep playing well and scoring goals, though. Hopefully he does.

    Loved his comment about spending his whole career here as long as he is wanted.

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 30, 2016 at 6:21 AM

    Comment #20

    Yedlin added: “And to whoever threw the coin at me… thanks for the 20 pence.”

    Magpies fans also got in the act as NUFCThreatLevel tweeted: “Apparently somebody lodged a transfer bid for (Preston striker) Jermaine Beckford and it’s hit DeAndre Yedlin.”

  • Bambams

    Oct 30, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    Comment #21

    It’s fantastic where we are at the minute and I am not getting ahead of myself but if we are ‘a few or more’ points ahead come January it has got to help us with prospective targets.

    Rafa is walking on water for me and other players who must fancy coming to join the Rafalution!

    With Rafa we could probably get anyone (I know we won’t spend huge sums with Ash) within our budget.

    He must have some ideas who he is after, if press reports are right re the ‘Three Windows’ discussions with Charnley.

    Anyway just watching the short highlights again….


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