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.