Rafa Benitez had some harsh words to say after the game about his team yesterday who did not play well and were nowhere near their best.
Newcastle suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of 3rd bottom Blackburn, who recorded only their 5th win of the season and climbed out of the relegation zone.
This was not the type of result or performance we have come to expect from the Newcastle side this season and it was a wake-up call for the players, the manager and the fans after 9 wins in a row.
To say it was hugely disappointing would be an under-statement.
Rafa Benitez – on the touchline yesterday
In his comments after the game Rafa inferred the players brought in did not take their chance.
He could not control his disappointment and frustration after the game when he was asked if he had made 6 changes to the side because of the upcoming League Cup quarter-final tie away on Tuesday night at Hull City:
“No, some of them we have to make and some of them we have to give them an opportunity to perform.”
“They have done well before when we have changed players and that was the idea. We have to be sure they can be on the pitch competing and showing in other games.”
“We didn’t start well and the way that the game was going was not easy for us. We didn’t manage it properly.”
“If it is a foul and you have the ball, normally you carry on.”
“Blackburn were pumping the ball into the box, then it was 50-50s, second balls then three corners and then we conceded.”
“If you have the ball and are fouled, why do you have to stop and give a free-kick? If you have the ball why not play the advantage?”
“They were also wasting time. I couldn’t understand the decisions.”
“But I won’t blame that because I don’t want to make excuses. We have to manage situations like this better.”
“I was disappointed with my team too, but I didn’t like the way the game was going on because it wasn’t in control.”
“It was just stop, free-kick, stop, free-kick, stop, corner, stop, throw-in – and you can’t play football.”
“I think we have to take the positives. We were so good for so many games and that has to be the way to go forward.”
“We have to analyse quickly what we did wrong and be ready for the next game in three days. ” “That is a positive thing.”
“I wanted more control against Blackburn so we have to show more character and personality to manage the situation.”
As you can see Rafa believed referee David Coote didn’t help things by blowing up for fouls against Newcastle when we had the advantage – good referees let the play continue.
But we’ve also noticed the officiating in the second tier is below the standard of the Premier League by quite a bit.
But that’s making excuses.
We lost the game because the team did not play well enough and it’s something Rafa needs to get sorted out – and he’s admitted as much in his comments.
A blip is fine and it happens during any season – we cannot win every game.
But we also cannot let this impact our league performances – we are at Nottingham Forest on Friday night and we need to get back to our winning ways in that game.
But that’s going to be a difficult game.
We have to remember the league is the most important thing this season – we simply must get promoted back to the Premier League.
I just looked at the Mirror online – no mention of Newcastle United anywhere!