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.