There are reports in the Chronicle that after the game Rafa Benitez was not a happy camper in his press conference and he was unhappy with Newcastle missing their chances in the first half and then defending like schoolboys (our words not his) in the second half – with apologies to all schoolboys everywhere.
But apparently it was that bad in the second half today as the home side virtually dominated the game in those final 45 minutes and scored three unanswered goals in our worst defeat ever under Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez – smiling before the disastrous defeat
Rafa will have his work cut out for him to get the lads ready for the next two games at home against QPR and Derby County on Wednesday night and Saturday.
We need two wins in those games with Reading beating Cardiff 2-1 at home to go 3 points closer to Newcastle, although we have a game in hand now.
The Newcastle club owes their fans all out 100% effort and commitment in those games – and two wins.
Here’s what Rafa said after the game:
We didn’t underestimate Oxford.” “We didn’t take our chances in the first half, then we missed a penalty, and they took the chances that came their way.”
“We 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, but we made too many mistakes.”
“We had to make the changes – it is very clear.” “I said before the game that if we were going to go through, it had to be with the squad, and if we couldn’t do that, then we couldn’t.”
“We could have been ahead in the first half, but we didn’t do it and then we paid for the first mistake in the second half and that was it.”
And Oxford manager Michael Appleton could afford to be magnanimous in what is his best ever result as a manager – good for him.
Although the defeat is so hard to take it’s great for Oxford and their fans.
Well that didn’t make me feel any better.
This is what the Oxford manager had to say after the game:
“The only way we were going to win today was by being brave and getting on the front foot.”
“We’re delighted we’re in the last 16.” “It’s a fantastic achievement for the club.” “We thought it was on when the second goal went in.”
“But it was the save from the penalty that gave the players more belief than actually going ahead in the game.”
“My celebration was certainly bigger – it gave the players a massive belief that it might be their day.”
“Newcastle will be plying their trade in the top 10 of the Premier League next season.”