Rafa Benitez was quite pleased with Newcastle’s first half performance but he didn’t like what happened in the second half when we couldn’t get that third goal , Cardiff scored to make it 2-1 and then it was rather a nervous end to the game.
Bit Rafa was pleased with the character his team showed in that second half when the referee, who came in for a lot of criticism from both sides, allowed the game to get too physical.
In fact Cardiff manager Neil Warnock in his usual outspoken way said the officials cost them the game – a slight exaggeration of the facts to say the least.
Rafa Benitez on the touchline yesterday
Rafa was happy with the 3 points, but he would have preferred to have played the second half the way we played in those first 45 minutes:
“In football if you play well you will have more chances to win more games.” “Sometimes you cannot because the other team is physically strong or aggressive.”
“If the referee allows this type of contact you have to play and you have to adapt.” “If you can do that it means you are stronger.”
“You have to be sure you prepare your team for these type of things in the future. We did it this year in a lot of games and we did it today.”
“I would like to play like we did in the first half. We were creating chances and taking them more.
“Then you can enjoy the second half. But if you can’t at least you have to show character.”
Rafa didn’t like that we had to do so much defending in that second half, but we got all 3 points in what was a difficult end to the game – and that’s what good teams do.
Whatever happens in a game they find a way of winning and we’ve got 6 points from the last two games which have both turned out to be difficult ones for us where the opposition came back at us late in the game.
Who knows we may even string two good halves together the way we played in the first 45 minutes and get a big win again.
Maybe against Leeds United in two weeks time – which is our next game?
We’ll see – but that will be a tough game indeed at a sold-out Elland Road.