Since the 2-0 win at home to Ipswich on 3rd December Bristol City in their last 13 Championship games had lost 10 and drawn two before they played Newcastle on Saturday.
In that time they also played two FA Cup games and got a 1-0 win at Fleetwood after drawing 0-0 at home initially and then they were beaten 2-0 at Burnley in the 4th round.
So for Newcastle to be 2-0 down to this team after only 21 minutes at St. James’ Park and then only draw the game 2-2 was quite simply (yet) another shocking result.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
And if we don’t get promoted this season put it down to that shocking loss of 2 points against Bristol City at home.
But we have also lost against lowly placed Wolves and Blackburn at home and drew 2-2 with QPR so we know our home form has not been good this season.
Maybe it’s good that we now have three away games coming up even if those are tough games against highly placed sides.
But if we play as badly as we did in the first half on Saturday we could lose some of the upcoming games against Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading.
And we could still make it a close finish for the two automatic promotion places.
Notice it’s what we do not what the other teams do – we are the team making mistakes at the moment by missing chances and letting in poor goals.
But it’s not time to panic and Rafa Benitez is well aware of that.
Rafa has said this today about Newcastle as reported in the Chronicle:
“You don’t expect a team that is successful, focused prepared and training well to make these mistakes.”
“When we have problems, the main thing for me is to stay calm.”
“I can be upset, I can be disappointed, but I need to analyse what we did wrong and I think we corrected it in the second half.”
“We could improve a little and it’s a question of managing our anxiety.” “We are at the top of the table and must have confidence in ourselves.”
“We just had to win and we didn’t.” “In other games we couldn’t create clear chances, but in this game I was confident once we scored the first goal.”
“The negative thing is that we have to learn how to break down these teams that come here to play like this.”
“I just have to try to stay relaxed and stay calm.” In my case I’m quite calm. I can be furious but it depends on the situation.”
“I remember I have to create solutions, not give problems.” “I try to give solutions to my players.”
“In terms of players it is a question of experience.”
“They need to know we will have games like this one and will realize in a game we have done this, but we have to do that.”
“We are not playing really well, but we have won a lot of good games.” “If you say we didn’t play well in the first half, we did in the second.”
“We played well against Norwich, but we have to be more consistent.”
Let’s hope some big lessons have been learned from Saturday and the lads can bounce back with a good result at Brighton tomorrow night.
That’s what we need.