A number of Newcastle players have already departed to join up with their International squads – Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Paul Dummett (Wales) and Ciaran Clark (Ireland) – but the rest of the squad was in for training as usual yesterday.
One of the things Newcastle can improve is to control games more and on Saturday we missed at least five good chances and the it should never have been 2-1 after 73 minutes with the chance that we could have dropped a valuable 3 points.
But Rafa’s strategy is that the team and the players will improve and learn something from every single game as the manager wants the squad to only think of the next game and how we can win that.
Rafa Benitez in training
How you pass a rugby ball?
Benitez will put his players through technical and tactical drills this week, before allowing those Magpies still on Tyneside some well-earned rest days given that Newcastle’s next match is not until a week on Sunday.
This is what Rafa has told nufcTV:
“We will lose some players – they will go with their countries – but the other players will be here and we can keep working with them,”
“After, we will give them some days off to be sure that mentally, they are fresh when they come back.”
“It was a great start on Saturday.” “After, we had two or three chances and the same situation in the second half.”
“We needed to score the third goal and finish the game; we didn’t do it and then Cardiff were pushing but that’s Championship football; throw-ins, free kicks, the ball in the box.”
“We can analyse the result and the whole game and we will see that we had the control and created chances.”
“But you have to take your chances in football or the other team will have the belief that they can score and they will be fighting until the end.”
“Watching the replay and the video, it seemed to be hand-ball for their goal, but you have to accept what happened and just relax now, and with the international break try to be sure that we are ready.
“It’s not easy to win games, it’s not easy in any division, so to have the opportunity to see the team scoring goals and winning games in a row is always, for a manager, a nice situation.”
Rafa will train with the players this week but then will give them some rest with our next game is not until a week on Sunday.
As Jonjo and other players have mentioned, Rafa isn’t one for relaxing or allowing players to put their feet up so this is a little unusual for Rafa who is a perfectionist and a workaholic,
But the lads deserve a little break and then next week can get ready for Leeds United at a sold-out Elland Road and that will be some game against one of the top English clubs of the past.
It’s a pity that Leeds have been out of the Premier League since 2004 and that’s too long for a club of its standing.