Rafa Press Conference – I Will Not Quit, I Will Not Leave

Rafa Benitez has just completed his press conference for the Championship game against Derby County at St. James’ Park tomorrow afternoon – and if we can win that game the mood on Tyneside will be raised significantly.

There were more cameras than usual at the Benton training ground this afternoon since there is national interest in Rafa’s situation at Newcastle, after news broke last night he was unhappy with the January transfer window.

On the real important issue Rafa said he will not be leaving Newcastle and will fight on to get Newcastle promoted – that’s good!

We were unlucky on Wednesday night not to win the game 2-1 against QPR but a last minute own goal robbed us of all 3 points.

But leaders Brighton were hammered 3-1 at Huddersfield last night and are just one point above us in the league table.

If we can win the game we will go top again – at least until Brighton play at Brentford on Sunday – in fact if we draw we will go top on goal difference – but we need wins to get promoted.

rafa benitez press conference

Rafa Benitez at his press conference

Some of Rafa’s comments are now being reported on the Newcastle United Twitter account and on Chronicle Live.

Here are some of Rafa’s comments in no particular order:

“This club has made mistakes in the past.”  “We can’t make them again.”  “Fans want promotion, the club can’t make the same mistakes again.”

“I will not quit, I will not leave. I am ready to fight. It’s so simple, so clear.”

“I am talking about everyone making mistakes.”  “If we want to be stronger, we have to stick together – fans, club, everyone.”

“We were expecting something to happen. It didn’t happen.”

“He (Andros Townsend) is not here. I was pleased with him last year but he can’t help us now.”

“Derby are doing well, Steve McClaren knows our players, and it will be a tough game for us.”

“We’ve had some bad games, but we are strong enough to compete, to win and to go up.”

“Mbemba is back but will not be available, Colback is improving and Gayle is improving, but he won’t be ready yet.”

“Derby are a team that has to be in the top six – they are there now because they have enough quality and an experienced manager.”

Good sensible comments from Rafa there – we did expect him to be calm and call for unity – which is exactly what he’s done and that’s very good.

We hope it’s a sell-out tomorrow at St. James’ Park and those at the game can roar on the lads to a win – we need the 3 points with the next game being a week later at Wolves in a late 5:30 pm kickoff to be televised on Sky Sports in the UK.

At least Rafa will know he has 100% backing from the Newcastle fans – he’s the perfect manager for us.

Howay The Lads!!

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Comments welcome.

144 comments so far

  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #1

    got to say i hope i never hear Townsends name in the same breath as Newcastle again .

  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #2


    True dat!


    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #3

    Me too…until we sign him in the Summer anyway

  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #4

    Be better players out there in the summer

  • RUNAWAY777

    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #5

    Like I said wait for rafa to say something and he has let’s leave it there now, and get a win tomorrow to put the fans on a for the weekend.


    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #6

    Time will tell

  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #7

    WWSBRD @ 3

    dont think so the moments passed
    younger cheap better better players out there who want to play for Rafa and the Toon


    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #8

    If hes available in the summer mate we will see, if Rafa sticks around anyway

  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #9

    If anything has come from all theses soundbites from Rafa over the last week it’s his constant referral to the fans.
    Although we have a rammed stadium most of the time – the atmosphere at times is dire and quite disappointing.
    The club have to think long and hard about upping the ambience which for so many years was a twelfth man.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Comment #10

    So, nothing to see here next topic please!! 🙂

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #11

    Well we didn’t learn a lot there.
    One thing about Benitez is that he never slags folk off- always a collective responsibility for things that go wrong. Which is I suppose diplomacy at it’s best.
    For now the important thing is that there are no changes, he’;s up for the fight and he still thinks we are good enough to gain promotion.
    As I’ve said previously the hard work is in the summer -need half a team of higher standard players -that will inevitably mean higher wages running costs.

  • posada

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #12

    Who the hell are this Ashley Out Group.
    No time for them.
    Not elected by anyone.
    Back of an envelope business plan thirty bob entrepreneurs.
    Stuff the lot of them.
    If they had to spend 10 million on an investment they would probably crap themselves.

  • posada

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #13

    Getting back to football.
    Since November Rafa has used an increasingly smaller group of players. Now about 14. Those that follow the games will know who I mean.
    Thing is what about Wednesday.
    At least 2 deserve to be dropped. Perez, he will be for Diame.
    Lascelles, he will keep his place. If you keep rewarding performances that are poor it will go from bad to worse.

  • magicmac54

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #14

    Rafa was never going to leave this season, as he is a man with great integrity, and a very proud man, he was always going to finish the job and get Newcastle promoted this season, he loves the Newcastle fans, and they love him, but i honestly think Rafa will be history at the end of this season, he is very ambitious, and will be looking to make Newcastle great again, its never going to happen while Ashely is the owner of Newcastle, as Ashely is happy if Newcastle finish one place above Relegation every season, this partenership can never work, Ashely runs Newcastle just like another branch of sports dirrect, buy cheap and make a huge profit, thats why he only wants young players, its not to build a great team for the future, its to see they on and make his bank account great, and not Newcastle, this man will never change, how much proof do some Newcastle fans really need. HWTL.

  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #15

    For all Ed or Mark Douglas know they could be a bunch of mackem s.t. holders taking the piss.

  • Budge123

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #16

    Agree with that Posada Lascelles should be no where near the team on current form.
    Since his return the amount of ‘captaincy’ on pitch work that Shelvey has done has been plain to see.
    Would like the experience of Hanley or the ball carrying ability of Mbemba at the back.

  • posada

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #17

    Aye Jib, like those buggers that flew the banner 12 times round St James Park when we were relegated.
    There will be a reckoning and that day will be soon.
    Balls to second lets go for the winners trophy.
    Get there as quick as possible and watch HH and them lot down the road play out Premiership Musical Chairs until April May time.

  • brklyngeordie

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #18

    Obviously not this week because Rafa said Mbemba is. It ready but any chance he puts him at CDM to pair with Shelvey? That’s where he played all tournament for DR of Congo and feel that at only 21-22 its. It to late for him to take on this role. I see many of us were against sending him the other way to Palace for Townsend which I felt the same about which tells me most of us see that there is something in the lad so would really like to start seeing get in the team.

  • brklyngeordie

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #19

    * It’s NOT to late for him to learn this role, apologies

  • lesh

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #20

    All Rafa’s said is that he’s not leaving [of his own accord?] and that’s great to hesr. However, what he hasn’t said is that whatever the problem was/ is has been thrashed out and resolved – there’s no sign of him even suggesting that he’ll get the full support he and wants and everyone wants him to have. We’ve just got to hope that Rafa’s been given reasonable assurances by the club and that Ashley honours them.

    A statement from the club’d help too but then again it might, unless it’s well drafted, be seen as the dreaded vote of confidence!

    As far as the Ashley Out group’s concerned, I share Posada’s reservations and commented on the previous thread…….. (and reposted below – sorry)

    Whilst the [AO statement] sentiment is laudable, this statement could be counterproductive.

    Why? Because it’s an open statement and Ashley will not be seen to be hostage to it. It would have better delivered out of the public domain and then escalated if needs be.

    Maybe the whole thing’s down to a communication breakdown? We don’t have the full story. Let’s not forget that Shepherd said from what he’d heard, he wouldn’t have gone with the deal Palace wanted for Townsend.

    Let’s hope it’s resolved before any real damage is done.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #21

    Townsend is not the one trick pony MA wants bolted to his cart. However, as others have said, when the time comes will there be the right quality of transfers for establishing the club in the PL. How much will the lack of commercial revenue and the need for self sufficiency, hold the club back from pushing for Europe?

  • brklyngeordie

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #22

    Another question to everyone IF we go up would everyone be ok with shipping Ayoze out and keeping Armstrong on squad and playing the role that Ayoze does now? I know it’s not fair to ask now that everyone has it out for Ayoze at moment but just interested in what others think and also would love to see Armstrong make it with us as you just know he will bleed for the shirt and is one of those players as Rafa said they want that will be proud to wear the shirt and not look at the club as a stepping stone which to many have in recent times.

  • MadisonToon

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #23


    You’re spot on with lots of what you’ve just said.

    I’d love to see Mbemba as a DM to swap out with Hayden in that role although I do think Hayden has good potential. Would allow us to marginalize Colback which I’d appreciate.

    I have lots of faith in Armstrong although haven’t seen much of his play on loan this season and the stats don’t speak resoundingly for him. However, I think he’d give us a bit more than Perez does as he’s quicker than Perez and has a similar knack for finishing – also the fact that he’s a local lad will help in his application in training and to the first team and definitely be a plus for the fans.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #24

    Lascalles been poor of late
    Tell you I was impressed with at centre half was
    the lad from Findlay – against Birmingham – good at defending and GOOD on the ball with his passing and also was quite vocal.

    like to see a clean sheet – would de a confidence booster

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #25

    I would like to see:


  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #26

    For tomorrows match I expect to see Hanley used in central defence.

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #27

    Let’s get it right at least. Palace wanted a deal that said Two million loan, with a guarantee to buy at thirteen million. For once I agree with Ashley for not doing the deal. If we have to buy, the release clause was thirteen. They still owe us money for him anyway. So in effect they would be getting 15m for a player with a 13m release clause. Sod them.
    I don’t believe Rafa isn’t good enough to get this side promoted. There’s money there for the summer. Our wage bill alone is apparently 80million which is ludicrous for a Championship club. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
    I’m sick of hearing other fans having a dig at us, but to an extent they’re right. Any other set of fans can only dream of being in our position, with our squad and our manager. Time we earned something instead of expecting it handed to us on a plate. Why do we think we should be allowed to get into debt again? We’ve got a great squad for this division and a manager who built it.
    Next season is different. Bringing Townsend in was never a guarantee of promotion anyway, not on his current form. We save our money for the summer when better players are available. If Ashley doesn’t back him then, we might have reason to complain, but not now.
    I certainly don’t need AO telling me to get behind the team. Somebody should be telling them that this is just more division we don’t need and they need to get behind the whole club. This constant bleating is embarrassing.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #28

    Armstrong and Gayle would be an excellent front two.

  • andrew84

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #29

    The Ashley Out organisation Ed? Don’t you mean crew/mob/rabble/vermin?

  • lesh

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #30

    Now Bobby, all’s good with you?

    I wonder if Ashley’s trying to outTrump Trump in the stupidity game? Given Trump’s edicts over the last 10 days, Ashley’s got a long way to go – but he’s trying!

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #31

    Brooklyngeordie, imo we missed a trick sending Arma back out on loan. We could’ve just replaced Gayle with him straight swap when he got injured. No need to change the style of play, he’s every bit as good. A more natural finisher as well.
    I’ve been patient with Perez but enough is enough. His whole confidence is shot at anyway and every game makes it worse. He needs pulling out for his and the teams best interest.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 3, 2017 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #32

    I don’t know….what is worse, not buying any new players or kicking up a fuss about not buying any new players?

    The first is a bit pathetic, Townsend is not the only player potentially available. The latter can be put down to being misled, poor communication and an inequality in the working relationship. Lets hope lessons are learned and those concerned can move forward, with a stronger determination to get the club progressing properly.

  • Bambams

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #33

    My biggest concern is again Ashley, he in my opinion is not a football owner. He merely wants us to be in the big league ‘showcasing’ his brand. That’s it.

    Rafa will want to be in CL and in top 5 or 6 of the league. To get there you are talking miliions and millions.

    It won’t happen and I could still see Ash selling up if we get promoted.

    In my opinion

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #34

    How do you know that’s right, Rafa said he doesn’t know so not sure you can say let’s get this right, and what do you mean allowed to get in to debt again, when were we out of debt, did the fat man not just lend us another 30M out of the goodness of his heart?

  • Bobbybee

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #35

    Trump is Trump Lesh, neither was a good choice. Ashley is Ashley and imo he was right not to be held to ransom for an out of form player. Why should we pay 15m when the release clause is 13m?If it was a choice to buy, fair enough, but they were saying if we take him on loan we had to buy, no choice. Sod that. I wouldn’t do it, so you can bet your bottom dollar Ashley wouldn’t. He’s not a mug and neither are we. It’s not like he would make that much difference, definitely not on his current form. We’re a Championship club, we can’t keep paying PL wages, not this season.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #36

    I’d be absolutely over the moon if he sold us and Rafa was still in charge.

  • reilly

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #38

    The problems will still be there in the summer.
    IMO Rafa will be gone in the summer.

  • Jib

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #39
  • hibbit

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #40


    unfortunately i’ve never seen any of ashley’s mob learn by their mistakes


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