Rafa Points Out Disagreement With Nigel Clough

After the 2-1 win at Burton on Saturday afternoon Nigel Clough had said he thought there were two outstanding teams in the Championship this year – Newcastle and Brighton – and they would be the ones everybody would be chasing this season and they would be the two automatically promoted teams.

For Rafa Benitez , who is trying to keep everybody’s feet on the ground associated with Newcastle, including the players and the fans, they were not good comments.

Rafa Benitez and Nigel Clough on Saturday

Rafa came out after the game and said he didn’t agree (totally) with the comments of the Burton Albion manager.

This is what Rafa told the local press as reported in the Shields Gazette:

“I understand what Clough says, but I don’t agree totally with him.”

“I don’t agree totally, because I don’t think there are only two outstanding teams. Also there are Leeds and Derby, who are good teams.”

“Reading are doing really well. Huddersfield Town are doing really well.”

“So when you talk about six points difference, or nine points difference, it’s not massive.” “As I have said so many times before, we have seven games in April.”

“So you have to be sure that you keep being consistent because the other teams are still winning and it’s still a long race until the end of the season.”

“I would like to be there at the top all of the time, but I’m sure it will be difficult because still the other teams are strong, and still they are winning.”

“I was not expecting anything. “I was just convinced at the beginning of the season that we have a good team and we need to keep working and adjusting things.”

“When we were winning lots of games in a row, still I was saying ‘we can improve’.”

“And still the same. Still we can improve and have more adjustments which can allow us to perform even a little bit better in these games.”

Rafa is always talking about getting better throughout the season and the team will get better after two tough away wins last Wednesday at Wigan and on Saturday – they were not easy games to win but we came away with 6 valuable points.

Newcastle now have exactly the same number of points as we had seven years ago after 22 league games played – 49.


And our next game is the evening game (7:45pm KO) on Boxing Day at St. James’ Park against Sheffield Wednesday, which will be our next test.

Here’s how things stand before that round of games.

4Sheffield Wednesday461581

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • firebug666

    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #1

    Matt Ritchie hopes Newcastle United can use the “good omen” of being top at Christmas to ensure they secure promotion this season.

    The Magpies guaranteed themselves top spot for December 25 with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Burton Albion on Saturday.

    In 10 of the past 12 seasons, the side who have been at the Championship summit on Christmas Day – including Chris Hughton’s title-winning Magpies side in 2009/10 – have gone on to achieve promotion.

    Ritchie, and United fans, hope that statistic will extend to 11 of the last 13 seasons.

    “It’s fantastic that we’re top for Christmas,” the 27-year-old winger said.

    “In the past it’s been a good omen. Most teams that are top at Christmas have gone on to get promoted. Hopefully, that can be us.

    Interview in the chronic!


  • Ron Knee

    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #2


    I was wondering about that. Fingers crossed then!

  • firebug666

    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #3

    Dwight Gayle Shares His Thoughts On Newcastle Fans And The Christmas Period

    As reported by the Chronicle, Dwight Gayle has shared his thoughts on Newcastle United, the clubs fans and his desire to play as often as he can.

    Gayle, who continued his great form at the weekend, said: “The main thing is for me to go into each game and help out the team, whichever way it is.

    “I have to do what I can, whether it’s assisting, scoring, running into the channels or getting the team up the pitch.

    “It’s a great feeling to be top of the table at Christmas, and it’ll make the next few days that bit nicer.

    Unlike most footballers, Dwight Gayle seems to have a great attitude to the Christmas period, adding: “It’ll be fantastic to play every couple of days, because that’s what you want to do.

    “It’s fantastic to go out and play in front of 52,000, and away from home, they’re selling every ticket we get.

    “They are good times at the moment.”

  • Average_Contents

    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #4



    It’d take an unprecedented bad run of form under rafa in order for us to not get automatic promotion.

    I can’t see it. Especially with the quality and depth of the squad as it stands.

  • firebug666

    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #5


    I think we have enough to stay ahead now, blip over now the serious works begins. The players know victory is in their own hands, that should be incentive enough to spur them on.

  • firebug666

    Dec 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #6


    Totally agree marra, just cannot see a bad run on the horizon with Rafa and this squad. Poor officials could slow us down a bit, but maybe lessons have been learned there too. 😀


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