Yoan Gouffran has been one of the big positive surprises this season and until the game at Hull City last week he had never been on the losing side this season when he started a game.
It’s a management challenge now for Rafa Benitez to pick the lads up after suffering two gut-wrenching defeats in our last two games against Hull City in the League Cup and against Nottingham Forest – our fifth league defeat this season.
We missed our chances against Hull and had a one man advantage in extra time but still lost the tie 3-1 on penalties – otherwise we would have been playing Manchester United in the semi-finals.
Yoan Gouffran with Rafa Benitez
At Nottingham Forest last Friday night we gave away two penalties and had Shelvey and Dummett sent off – all in the first half, but the FA (quickly) rescinded both red cards on Tuesday.
That’s only the second time in Championship history that two red cards have ever been rescinded in a game.
Maybe the FA were that embarrassed by referee Stephen Martin’s performance that night – it was horrendous and seemed completely biased against us.
This is what Yoan has said on nufcTV:
“It was a bad week for us.” “I thought against Hull we played well but we have to win, the keeper was good and so we were unlucky.”
“Against Nottingham we started the game well but we lost two players in the first half – nine against eleven was hard. We tried to give our best but it is impossible to win.”
“When you win the ball when two men down you don’t have a solution to play, so we try to keep the score at 1-0 but once they scored their first goal, it was hard to play.”
“I felt bad because it was my first defeat on a team this season.” “Sometimes in football you are lucky to win every game but this was a loss.”
“I knew the stat, Dwight Gayle told me about it, I did not know before. It’s a good feeling but all my teammates work hard, it is not just that I’m lucky, or when I play we win, it is all the team who do well.”
“Last year I kept working hard. When the Manager then asked me, I said I’m ready to play because I had been waiting for that.”
“Now I enjoy it, and ready to play, score and win games.” He just says to us that we have to carry on, to work hard, stay together, stay focused for the next game – change the bad mood.”
“Now we just have to concentrate on Birmingham – every week is a tough game and we just want to play well for the fans.”
“Stay focused is the word.”
So there you have it the lads have to carry on, work hard, stay together and stay focused for the next game and change the bad mood.
That should do it, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we must beat Birmingham City on Saturday.