Rafa has told Sky Sports that the key to Newcastle keep winning games is the hard work of the players both in training and in the games.
The manager has always demanded 100% concentration and that is paying off as we continue to win some close games – although once or twice we have conceded late goals to drop points, but that’s been the exception.
Just before Aleksandar got involved in a potential second yellow card for his challenge on the Wolves goalkeeper on Saturday, it looked like he had been deliberately pushed in the back in the penalty area, but the referee ignored the incident and played on.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scores against Wolves
Rafa has talked about that and how the players are working very well and helping each other in these tough games:
“We are working very hard as a team that for me is the key.” “The players help each other. They stick together when we have to defend and after we try to play counter-attack when the other team is pushing and going forward.”
“It was fine and hopefully we can continue like this until the end of the season.”
“We complained about the penalty that wasn`t given too.” “After the penalty he had a yellow card and was under pressure. In the end I am pleased because he got the winning goal because he was working so hard.”
“I took him out because with the pressure of the fans on top of him I think it was important to protect him and the team.”
“I was not thinking about the next game, I was thinking about this one and keeping 11 players on the pitch.”
“Also we needed to have a certain type of game in the second half after being 1-0 up we knew they`d be on top and there would be space behind as well.”
“They were dangerous in the first half from crosses because they were winning a lot of second balls. When we managed the situation in the second half we controlled it better.”
“They played long balls into the strikers and it was easier for our center-backs as they can defend straight balls.” “It was easier for us to play on the counter attack.”
The team spirit is like back and white compared to last season under Steve McClaren – so to speak …
Last season it was not good and the side could collapse at any minute and regularly did exactly that.
This season the lads are much stronger mentally and have all pulled together and we are hoping Newcastle can be promoted back to the Premier League.
The next few weeks are going to be very important, but if we can keep winning games we should be OK and achieve our number one goal for this season.