Rafa Benitez following the shocking 3-0 defeat at Oxford United this afternoon has indicated he couldn’t risk any of his first team players in case they picked up injuries with promotion to the Premier League being the overwhelming priority for this season.
But Rafa was not a happy man with the way the team played – especially in the second half – and the fringe players today hardly took their chance to shine.
In order to be able to pursue trophies on multiple fronts – which Rafa certainly wants to do at Newcastle – that’s the main reason he stayed last May after we were relegated – Newcastle need a strong squad and it’s clear today we haven’t got that – not at the moment at least.
Rafa Benitez – wants to protect top players
Rafa has hinted he needs backing from Mike Ashley to bring in a couple of good players this month – and there’s little doubt who he wants – Andros Townsend and James McCarthy.
The Mail are reporting tonight we have had a 16M bid for McCarthy turned down by Everton.
Rafa made 9 changes to the side that beat Rotherham 4-0 last Saturday for the game today at Oxford United and the Chronicle are reporting tonight he had to do that to protect his top players and save them from injury.
This is some of what Rafa said after the game today when asked if he had to use the squad:
“Yes. It is very clear.”
“I said before if we go through it has to be using the squad, if we can’t, we can’t.” “Today in the first half we could have scored and been ahead.”
“But we didn’t do it, then we paid for the first mistake in the second half and that was it.”
“Experience and balance are they key if you want to be consistent in the Championship because you play too many games in a few days without too much time.”
“If we went through we’d do it with the squad.” “The only thing was that I felt sorry for the fans.”
“We wanted to go through and we could have in the first half.” “Now it’s something that we have to analyse.”
“Why did we make this mistake or that mistake – and be ready for the next game.”
“They took their chances.” “We also didn’t mark properly from the corners and we gave the ball away.”
“You have to give credit to them because they were fighting for the result.” “We made too many mistakes.”
After this humiliating defeat it will be interesting to see what happens over the next three days of the January transfer window.
Maybe Mike will loosen the purse strings to try to get both Andros Townsend and James McCarthy through the door – it’s pretty obvious that’s who Rafa wants.
It would be a good time for the Newcastle owner to back Rafa.