Rafa Explains What’s Needed In Final 14 Games


Rafa Benitez has instilled a toughness and mental strength in the Newcastle side this season that means the lads never give up in any game and they are always trying to win it – whatever the score is.

A great example of that was the home game against Norwich last year when we were 3-2 down going into stoppage time and 3-2 down after four minutes of stoppage time.

But we scored two dramatic goals in the following two minutes to get a very famous 4-3 win against a top side in the division.

A rather stern looking Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

And last week we went very close to winning at Carrow Road late in the game.

None of that kind of thing happened last season and Rafa has used a number of the players from last season’s  squad – they just have a different outlook on the game under Rafa.

It’s a really tough four games coming up starting on Saturday against Bristol City and lasting a short 11 days – four tough games in 11 days!

This is what Rafa has said today about what’s needed from his team for the rest of the season – as reported in the Chronicle today:

“When you play two games a week it can be physical.”

“That is the problem with the Championship and it’s different.”  “We have to cope with that.”

“We have players with experience and the right mentality to approach these kind of games. I think we are doing well.”

“At the beginning we lost two games in a row but still the team reacted. I think that is the way to do it.”

“We have enough quality and experience to do well and I am sure they will do it.” “The most important thing is to be strong every game.”

“We have to concentrate and be strong enough to get three points in every single game.”

“We have gone away and played well against good teams. I have confidence we can still do that.”

By a week on Tuesday night we will know what our chances of automatic promotion look like, after we have played Bristol City, Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading by then.

The first thing we have to do is beat Bristol City at home on Saturday afternoon.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Bristol City?

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56 comments so far

  • one fine day

    Feb 24, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #1

    11one fine day // Feb 24, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    Charlie ,
    On gayle / Richie
    Did he ever play that role at Bournemouth I wonder ?
    Looks good cutting inside and banging them across and inside the far post …just wonder how he is doing the gayle role of running on yo through balls ?
    Interesting ..
    As for Leicester … If it’s true the players voted him out then. Hope they go down …shower of sh@t to treat a guy that lifted a very average bunch way beyond their dreams …hang your heads and hope you drop like a stone .
    Claudio for me is up there with the Bobby,arsenes and Rafa ‘s of football ..deserves a lot more respect.
    Those players deserve pardew
    When I say down I hope it’s with palace and the unwashed

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  • G

    Feb 24, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #2

    @1 Reckon Palace will go down, have a feeling the Mackems might survive? Just a feeling, but I think Boro will go down.

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  • toontaff2

    Feb 24, 2017 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #3

    From NUFC.Com

    ‘Bookings – any player that collects 10 bookings by Sunday March 12th will be suspended for a game. Here’s our current most “at risk” quartet:

    Matt Ritchie 9
    Jack Colback 8
    Isaac Hayden 8
    Paul Dummett 7

    Is it only a 1 game suspension?
    Maybe an idea to play Atsu v Bristol City, to save Ritchie for Brighton?

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  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 24, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #4

    One fine day
    Don’t know if has played up front for Bournemouth
    Watching him play always busy – pain in the arse for defenders
    Could be a great fox in the box and looks like a natural goal scorer – was just a thought with Mitro misfiring and Murphy off the radar at the minute. Also I think he has more energy and gets stuck in more than Perez who can be ‘lazy’ and Goufran who is OK up front but better suited in the TOON in midfield

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 24, 2017 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #5

    WWSBRD
    February 24, 2017

    one fine day
    Ranieri up there with managerial elite? Why?

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  • jimmysmith

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #6

    Very few managers would turn down Arsenal, particularly if they were offered the same autonomy Wenger enjoyed.

    The only real reason to say no from a career perspective would be because Wenger would quite possibly be too big an act to follow, like Sir Alex at Man U.

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #7

    WWSBRD
    He took Cagliari from Italian 3rd division to Serie A in successive seasons.

    He got Fiorentina and Monaco both promoted to their first Divisions as champions.

    Also won 2 cups at Fiorentina and 3 cups at Valencia

    PL manager of the month 5 times from 2003 to 2016

    Best manager/coach in the world 2016 from numerous bodies.

    Oh and he won the PL with 5000/1 outsiders

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  • one fine day

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #8

    Wwsbr
    Never said he was “elite ”
    Just that he deserves better in the same way we treated SBR at the end .
    Same as arsenal fans who seem to think they have some god given right to win the title every year …I would snap there hand off to have their recond over the last 20 years .
    As for raneiri … Those same Leicester players need to ask where they were when Claudio took the job?
    Those that weren’t trying to bang hookers and trannys in Bangkok anyway .
    Have a read of phil McNulty on bbc …interesting about how the owners of Leicester ( King power ) were carrying on at Everton Last year after they got the prem trophy .

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  • jimmysmith

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #9

    The “tinker man” to Arsenal for a season of transition away from the Wenger era might easily be on the cards.

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #10

    Toontaff
    Two games I do believe

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  • G

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #11

    Jib, just one mate.

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #12

    Toontaff
    Sorry I think the FA decided in January 2017 to change it to one match.
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/2513821/premier-league-bans-suspensions/

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #13

    one fine day
    I don’t really see the lack of respect he’s been sacked for failing this season and with a heavy heart…how long should they stick with him? He’s not an amazing manager he was a joke when they hired him and now he’s a PL title winner with legend status in the game

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #14

    G
    Thanks for not crowing and slapping my arse

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  • G

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #15

    @14, well I’m guessing you’re not my type!

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #16

    WWSBRD //
    You probably did a fist pump and a “Gerrin” when Ashley sacked Chris Hughton.

    😀

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  • barkel

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #17

    I’d agree with the Ranieri being a top manager, I hoped for quite a while we would get him in (before Rafa obviously)

    Anyone going to dublin .. http://www.dublinlive.ie/sport/soccer/newcastle-fan-requests-rafa-benitez-12646943?ICID=FB_DublinLive_Main

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  • one fine day

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #18

    Wwsbrd,
    Just out of interest who do you feel is then is deserving of legend status in today’s game ?
    Those who are currently employed that is ?

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  • jimmysmith

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #19

    Ranieri has never even remotely been a joke. He managed Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Valencia again, Parma, Juventus, Roma, Internazionale, Monaco before his problems with Greece and then magically guiding Leicester to the most unlikely of Championships. He has had a fantastic career in management.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #20

    one fine day
    Am confused mate I said Ranieri is a legend for them?

    jimmy
    After Greece he was a joke mate just go and look what was said when they hired him. He’s got a decent managerial record but nothing amazing for me

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  • toonincheek

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #21

    Jib & G –

    Full marks to both of you for treating an ‘incident’ on the blog
    as one to have a laugh about.

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  • jimmysmith

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #22

    4 games to undermine a 25 year career at the highest level and become a joke?

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  • G

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #23

    @21, the way it should be mate. No time for keyboard warriors.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #24

    jimmy
    To some yes, he massively failed with Greece and was sacked after 4 months. No one though Leicester had done the right thing in hiring him

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  • toonincheek

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #25

    G – @23 – respect

    Would be great for the blog if Others would follow suit
    (rather than trying to Trump others)

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  • Belfast

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #26

    Predicted it weeks ago. It was the correct decision. They’ve looked a mess all season. They stand a far better chance of staying up under Mancini imo

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  • one fine day

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #27

    Wwsbrd,”w long should they stick with him? He’s not an amazing manager he was a joke when they hired him and now he’s a PL title winner with legend status in the game”

    Just asked the question who you would currently think has achieved more in the game in the last two years given with what he was given to work with ?
    He is far from a joke

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #28

    Wwsbrd

    Couldn’t the same be said about rafa? He failed big time at madrid, did he become a joke as madrid fans called him boring and clueless?

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  • Our Toon

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #29

    As for Leicester I do feel sorry for the owners and Ranieri, if indeed senior players did go to the owners and ask for the removal then I hope they go down and rot

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  • jimmysmith

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #30

    Having defended him, which isn’t hard given his career, I’m not about to criticise his sacking. That’s football, and if they go down, they may well be totally f@#&ed!

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  • barkel

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #31

    WW is right about when he was hired by Leicester. All the pundits on soccer saturday slated him, quite unfairly in my opinion. I can’t remember exactly what was said but they all said he was the wrong man at the wrong club and they all said that he’d have them relegated last season

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #32

    one fine day
    I didn’t say he is a joke mate I said he was a joke when they hired him (should probably of said he was seen as a joke at the time that’s my mistake)

    He has much the same squad that won the league last season with some costly additions yet they are facing relegation with no signs of turning it around, last season was a freak mate for him as much as them imo

    So how long should they of stuck with him? When they are relegated? Or does he have a job for life? Most of the outrage seems to be coming from outside of their fanbase…they are sad he’s gone but not many say it’s the wrong decision from what I’ve seen (plenty have been saying it for awhile)

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #33

    Eminent Italian sports journalist on twitter

    Paolo BandiniVerified account?@Paolo_Bandini 3h

    Gazzetta editorial: “Leicester, the club who with Ranieri became a prince courted by the world’s media, return to being a normal frog”

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  • toonincheek

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #34

    If Ranieri HAS indeed ‘lost’ the dressing room as has been
    reported – how would he ever get it back?

    Same sort of situation when SBR was moved out.

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  • hibbit

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #35

    i honestly think its the timing that’s wrong
    they should have been done this 2 weeks ago when they had a 10 break in prem games a new manager could have been found
    i think we made the same mistake with Mclaren and i think its to late to save them

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #36

    Our Toon
    Rafa failed big time? How’s that then? Top of their CL group, 4 points off top spot and disqualified from the cup competition if that’s him failing big time happy days

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #37
  • one fine day

    Feb 24, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #38

    Wwsbrd,
    Still spent nothing like mournino or inherited a squad like him either .
    To me the biggest mistake they made was not getting a bigger squad with the obvious euro games coming ( like us finishing 5 th and signing only Anita that summer) and hugely underestimating Kante .
    They will however now return to being a you yo club and will talk in disbelief in years to come about the year they won it . Jealous ? Me ? Yes just a little bit .
    It’s cliche and been said before but it’s players who get you relegated ,not the coach .
    If they think that they are not to blame for where they are ( last year those same players fought like lions) then they are in my book already down .
    I am so wishing they get pardew .
    Pearson would be th obvious choice in the current state but he was also given pretty shabby treatment after keeping them up.

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  • martoon

    Feb 24, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #39

    Jib @12 – Without wanting to restart an argument is that not for the Premier League – the EFL may be different?

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  • Jib

    Feb 24, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #40

    Our Toon

    Rafa was never going to be accepted by the Madridistas.

    Season 2000/01 Real won La Liga by a record 7 points.

    Next Season they finished 4th with the title being won by a Valencia managed by ex Real junior coach Rafa Benitez.

    For a madrileño to win the title for a Catalan club was unforgivable to many.

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