Cup Progress Is Great – But We Must Get Promoted

Rafa Benitez surprised us on Saturday when he made six changes to the side that had started at Elland Road in the previous game and came away with a good 2-0 win against an in-form side moving up the league table.

But it seems to have backfired after we lost  1-0 to third bottom Blackburn and it snapped our nine game winning streak and it was out first defeat in 11 games.

What seems to have gone wrong is that the good players that were brought in did not play well and too many of our players in general had an off-day.

When that happens against a struggling side you have to think some complacency has set in.


Aleksandar Mitrovic had a poor game on Saturday

And when that happens we are susceptible and Blackburn managed to pull off a huge upset at St. James’ Park on Saturday and some of us are still recovering from it.

That’s also the third time we have lost in the league this season at home and in front of a sold out crowd of over 52,000.


That’s a surprising stat.

Rafa was asked if the six changes he made had affected the side’s play on Saturday:

“I think for some games we maybe made seven changes but it’s not that you make too much.”

“Some of them we had to do it, some of them last week were coming back from international duty and didn’t play, so they were fresh and could play.”

“So I don’t think it has been negative in terms of the way that we are playing.”

“But we will see. We will have fresh legs for the next one but maybe some of them will play again anyway.”

“Obviously if you change players then people will say: ‘Oh, you are just thinking about the cup.’”

“No, I was thinking about winning against Blackburn and then to approach the other one with the same mentality.

“We had been changing players; for this game we were doing the same.”

It’s got to be onward and upward from now on and the lads have a chance to put things right by beating Hull in the quarter finals of the League Cup tomorrow night at the KCOM stadium.

It’s probably sacrilege but we are more concerned about the league games than the cup games this season, but Rafa obviously wants to win something just as soon as possible.

You can hardly blame the man for wanting to do that since  we’ve won nowt since 1969 – so to speak.


But we suppose a cup win and promotion would be our best season since 1969.

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16 comments so far

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #1

    on last thread i think the jury is still out on mitro and mbemba, whilst dealing with that club.

  • hibbit

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #2

    could Mbemba play DM ??


    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Comment #3

    dont have to much of a problem with mbemba tbh,he showed in enough in games last season that hes a good but young player,mistakes will happen from time to time but could be a really good player given time and games…,mitro,i like him but he needs to do more,step it up…as of right now he doesnt look suited to our style of play…or he’ll score enough,going off his form at the moment.


    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #4

    thats his position for his national side apparently

  • geordie157

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #5

    If Shelvey gets banned, I think Diame comes in alongside Hayden/Colback.

    with Perez struggling a bit, we could try Atsu in the no.10 but I’d go 442 and get Gayle and Mitrovic up top.


    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #6

    i mentioned playing atsu at ten on last thread for the exact same reasons….cant see us playing 442 tbh, but would be interesting to see that for a few games just to see if theres a click between mitro and gayle,and to see how the rest of the team handle the change.

  • hibbit

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:40 PM

    Comment #7

    that would be an interesting move he has pace and and a football brain just not the experience for a CB
    I’m expecting to see Murphy push Mitro down the pecking order now he’s fit much better option in this league

  • hibbit

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #8

    Gayle and Murphy would be a better pairing both know where the goal is in this league


    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #9

    aye mbemba,has pace, strength,height and can pass canny so it may be worth a try…he may get that chance with colback nearing a ban for yellows and shelvey possibly banned,then u have the winter injuries that will sure enough start appearing before long…….murphy’s fitness at the minute is his downfall….cant get a run of games…as yet.


    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #10

    your view on mitro?…..make it or not?

  • Spotlight Kid

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #11

    “Obviously if you change players then people will say: ‘Oh, you are just thinking about the cup.’ No, I was thinking about winning against Blackburn and then to approach the other one with the same mentality.”

    Hey, Rafa, watch out! There’s a plume of smoke rising up from your pantalones, mate.

  • sing in the corner

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #12

    Geordie Bill
    There you go, 38 votes for the draw. 🙂

  • hibbit

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #13

    just not sure
    like the lad he loves the club he has something just hope Rafa can bring it out

  • Lindisfarne

    Nov 28, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #14

    Its not all about doing well in the cups, its about beating PL teams with as much ease as the performances that have got us to the top of the league. It is the only way that we can judge our progress so far.


    Nov 28, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #15

    When u consider some of the things mentioned about him and his background he seems to be being very patient….so maybe he realises that hes got a lot to learn….and he does look happy at the club….lets hope he turns it on in second half of the season.

  • Bobbybee

    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #16

    If fancied sides won every game, would there be competitive games? There’d be little point surely? The magic of football is that any side – especially in the same division – is capable of beating any other team on their day. Remember Spurs last season? We’d already been relegated. They needed to win to finish above their version of the mackems for once. They fielded their strongest team available… and we wiped the floor with them. Nor is this sort of result a surprise anymore. It’s not that Spurs didn’t try, we know they did, but we just all played really well and they didn’t. These results happen and we need to quickly put it behind us and move on together. We’ll still win the league imo and these sort of games will happen occasionally to frustrate us. No bubble has burst. No decline has set in. Just one of those games.


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