Rafa has admitted he’s been disappointed the way Newcastle have played with Jonjo Shelvey out of the side, although he says he knew Jonjo would be a big miss because of his technical qualities.
That has to be a worry for Rafa, if he cannot get a player in this month who can fill in for Jonjo in case he’s injured or suspended again, because that could affect our promotion chances.
It’s not that Rafa and Lee Charnley are not trying to do that, it’s just that the prices being asked for some of our targets are ridiculously high.
Newcastle have missed Jonjo Shelvey – big time
This is the final game of Jonjo’s five game suspension so it would be good if we can get a win, but we think that will be extremely difficult unless Dwight Gayle can get among the goals quickly at Griffin Park.
Even though we have lost two of the last three league games we are still 6 points above the 3rd and 4th placed teams – Reading and Huddersfield respectively – but we have to start winning games soon.
Rafa also talked at his press conference yesterday about how difficult it has been over the last 13 years or so for relegated teams to bounce straight back up from the Championship.
This is some of what Rafa said yesterday, including how the team has missed Jonjo Shelvey:
“If you see the stats, you will see that it is right. A lot of the relegated teams are still in the Championship, because it’s not easy.”
“It’s important for everyone to understand that we have to stay calm and keep working hard. When you don’t concentrate, or are a little bit nervous, you make more mistakes.”
“It’s important to stay calm. There are seven games in April, another in May. Eight games in the last two months is a lot of points.”
“If we keep the same formula that we had in the first half of the league we will be there.”
“I was a little bit disappointed (without Jonjo Shelvey).” The team was doing well.”
“Because of his technical qualities, he can make the difference with a pass or whatever. I think we did enough to win against Blackburn.”
“If you play 99 times like that you will win. I think we’ve been a little bit unlucky.”
“We’re missing Jonjo in terms of the style of football and the way that he plays, but we knew before it could be like this.”
One good thing about this season is we have had very few injuries and that was a big problem for years at Newcastle when Rafa joined the club last year.
So he seems he has solved it and maybe it was the installation of those 4G artificial pitches or maybe just his thoroughness before and after the lads train every day.
It would be really great if we can get a win today and this is the team we think Rafa will start at Brentford:
Anita Lascelles (c) Clark Dummett
Ritchie Perez Gouffran
What would your team be?