Rafa Press Conference – Not Good News On Dwight Gayle


Rafa Benitez has just completed his press conference for maybe our most important league game of the season at Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow night.

The game comes after we dropped 2 points against Bristol City on Saturday and that was after the Robins had lost 10 of their last 13 Championship games.

We must play better than we did in the first half on Saturday or else we will lose at the Falmer (Amex) Stadium tomorrow night.

The big news from the press conference is that Dwight Gayle it out of the Brighton game, although Rafa has said he is progressing but not ready for tomorrow night’s vital game.

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 those comments and they are in no particular order of priority:

“My message to the players is – keep doing things the same way. Train well and stick together.”

“We are training well, and we will stick together and help each other.”

“We know that we made some mistakes the other day, but the reaction was so good – you have to think about the positives.”

“Dwight Gayle has been training, but still hasn’t enough confidence (in his hamstring) so he will not be part of the team.”

“Brighton is important for the message you can send across but still I have the feeling April will be the crucial month – we have seven games to play.”

“On paper? Maybe (it’s the biggest game of season). 

“Chris Hughton is doing a great job, and he has a very good team.”

“It (the China news) was a surprise to me.”

Fans are hardly confident about the game tomorrow night – let’s hope the lads have a surprise in store for us.

We need a good result.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Brighton?

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48 comments so far

  • West Lancs Geordie

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #1

    Best not to risk him anyway. We really need him fit for Huddersfield if possible. Time for Mitro to really step up to the plate & get into goal scoring mode. Hope he doesn’t bring in Hanley albeit he probably needs game time. Midfield is the problem. Colbaeck is a worry for me

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #2

    What do you mean we know we made mistakes the other day, most of the season I would say.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #3

    But of course it is the players fault.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #4

    jay
    Maybe right mate but Rafa likes Townsend a lot as does Ashley by all accounts and Palace are a shower (well in the relegation mire) so if he’s available I think we will be interested also think he will be planning for European football and HG quality is needed

    Did Jese not sack off Karanka in Jan in favour of a pretty poor Spanish team? Or am I thinking of someone else? Am still quietly hoping for Insigne tbh

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  • hibbit

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #5

    have any of this lot of whinging whining tosspots looked at the league table lately or the fact of 9 games without defeat
    West Lancs Geordie which poor record is that ???

    football manager /fifa has a lot to answer they all think they know best when in fact they know very little

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  • JackBall

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #6

    I think it is fair to worry; I have worried all season. Not because I think we should be doing better, but because it is a tough league. We, under Rafa, have created a top team for the championship in a short time and for the most part have been the better team on the field. There is no way you could have looked at Brighton the entire season and think they will walk over us. We have been playing well on the road, and no one has scored on us easily. I think that a large part of the negativity is a coping mechanism: if we loose they can win by saying I told you so, and if we win they get satisfaction as well. It could also be that they just ooze discontent. It has been a tough three seasons. For the past two we had to suffer through the fear and stress of relegation and this year we are suffering through a must top two finish. Both are painful, but I rather take pleasure in our push upwards than cringe on our way down. Still have confidence that we will finish top two, but I need a rest and pray for the day (hopefully next season) when we are comfortably in the top half and dreaming for the top 5 (probably a couple of years away) and not anxious that every lose can be a disaster. Of course Rafa and the team have made and will make more mistakes, but we are doing way more right now than we have been in a long time; so lets put the negative comments in a fair context. That does not mean that questioning and apprehension are inappropriate.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #7

    hibbit
    Even more impressive considering we have a ‘shite’ defence

    Glad I wasn’t on here when we were last in the Championship people must of been even more furious considering we had a worse GD, less points and a rookie manager

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  • derekm

    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #8

    Why am I the only one who feels that Darlow is very lucky that Rob Elliott obviously can’t be ready? That’s THREE times he has rushed out and directly caused a goal. Four if he had not got back to save the one where he fell outside the box. The confidence drains from the defenders in front of him – he is’nt talking to them loud enough and is making bad decisions.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #9

    Why has it gone from blaming the managers every season to all of sudden this season blame the players, just curious that’s so don’t go off on one.

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #10

    Repost – I don’t wish to slag Rafa – at least we attacked them yesterday and his player choice was positive. But given what we have spent and how most / all managers are envious of our squad and 52000 fans etc, do you think most on here wud be surprised that we are not winning this league – comfortably. We had guys suggesting a record points tally pre season. And I wud think most thought we would win all our home games. Rafa has done some great work (better defensively albeit in a poor league, fans communications, injuries etc) but I don’t think he is the genius people make out. Our best boss in years – yes. But what annoyed me was that we made a God of him pre season when we didn’t get near staying up. I mean, if Rafa praises a player, Ed says he’s some sort of genius. This is where I get the giggles. If an average Mgr says something like ‘our fans stayed with us’, nobody cares. But because Rafa says this, or similar, he gets talked up as a toon legend?

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #11

    My concern would be what a bad defeat might do v Brighton. The good news is that we played the second half well v Bristol City. The bad news is that Rafa’s record with us in the big games has not been good, especially last season v Sunderland (home) , villa away, Norwich away last season. We need to take the game to Brighton. As an aside, we have all forgiven Rafa for risking Gayle, stupidly, at home. Would we be so nice if McClaren had done that or would we say it was a stupid risk? Lets get draws or better out of Brighton and Huddersfield and keep the distance. HTL

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  • G

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Fair points Munster Mag, whilst a lot of people do big-up Rafa more than most, I don’t think it’s necessarily due to them believing he is some sort of God, I think it is because he is such an upgrade on Wally, Pardew, JFK, etc.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #13

    Why is Rafa treated differently than Pardew, Carver and McClaren?

    Ability, standing, level of respect, reasons for taking the job, attitude to the fans/club, clubs performance, what he’s done, likeability, knowledge, management of injuries/players, ambition, he wants to be here, he stayed through relegation…quite a few reasons really

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #14

    I’ve not seen anyone say he was a toon legend though just considerably better than what we’ve had for a depressing amount of time

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  • toon kk

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #15

    People keep saying Mitro needs to step up to plate, thing is he has but the trouble is the lads simply not good enough,

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #16

    WW, those are fair points, but what I was saying is that in McClaren says X, and Rafa says the same thing, Rafa gets garlands?

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #17

    Munster
    No just people trust Rafa knows more than them whereas McClaren et al struggled to prove that (before they were hired and indeed while they were in the job)

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  • Clematis

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #18

    How much have we spent in this league? Negative £35 million quid, that’s what. Basically, Rotherham have spent more than us. Should Rotherham be seen to be doing better than us?

    I’m totally sick of so called ‘fans’, many whom have never been in the North East let alone been to a game, giving out sich negative comments anout the team, individual players or our manager.

    Now is the time to get behind the team and unite.

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #19

    @wwsbrd Yea, he went on loan. Think he sacked boro off because of playing style and that their struggling at the bottom, might be a different story if Rafa and Newcastle came calling with a plan to go forward.
    Insigne i’ve not seen much of, Callejon wouldn’t shock me, guess it’s all about how much money Rafa has available.
    For me, as a premier league side, we need a GK, a CM, a #10, a striker and a winger and possibly the left back position could do an upgrade. Reckon 50-75m would probably be required so it’ll be an interesting summer. Agree they do seem to like townsend tho

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 27, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #20

    Have to say I find the Lose/win/draw votes disappointing.

    I Agree with JackBall’s suggestion that so many voting lose might be using it as a coping mechanism.

    On the positive side more don’t think we’ll lose the game. 🙂

    Personally I think we’ll take all three points based on the fact that we seem to perform better away and we do seem able to grind out results.

    I’ll bet that Rafa has been looking very closely at the defenders/GK mix ups and has been working on them. Albeit there hasn’t been a lot of coaching time between games.

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  • toon kk

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #21

    Essex
    The thing is with the win loose draw vote most people vote through wishful thinking.

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #22

    @Munster/wwsbrd – can’t even utter mcclaren and benitez in the same thought. In my opinion McClaren actually pandered to the fans views, Carver certainly did and It didn’t work. Rafa has built a career of getting long term results, he’s earnt trust. If you look at the alternatives, Norwich kept most of their side and struggled, Villa threw money at it, champions league winning manager etc and have plummeted. Wolves broke the record for a player in this league and struggled. Its a hard hard league, and we’re fighting at the top. I don’t always agree with rafas decisions, but hes the first manager since Sir Bob where I see a decision and think ‘oh, well he’ll know more than me’…

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #23

    Munster
    Actually he did get us close to staying up. If I recall correctly his record for the games he was with us were better than any other part of the season.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #24

    toon kk

    I’m not I genuinely expect us to win.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #25

    jay
    Dunno mate I don’t know Jese too well but seems odd he’d turn down Karanka to me, was just a loan and he’s not gone to a much better club position wise…Rafa is as stable with us as Karanka is with Boro afterall who knows though

    Personally I reckon to stay in the PL couple wingers a CAM and a CDM would do it…plenty of cack in the PL

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #26

    jay
    I’ve tried to forget about McClaren and his words to us tbh, I don’t like being wrong and I though he’d keep us steady haha hindsight eh

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #27

    @wwsbrd – i think it was down to Middlesboro’s defensive play and that he didn’t think he’d get the chance to adapt in such a team… Remember some reports that the players weren’t mad on Karanka when he was at Madrid, not 100% on that though. He’s a good player, who isn’t quite as good as the money PSG paid for him…
    I think, if we’re a premier league club, Newcastle is hopefully more attractive than Middlesboro (got a feeling they’ll drop if im honest)

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  • JackBall

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #28

    WW, I too thought for a bit that McClaren would steady us, your getting me to doubt my new found faith.

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #29

    jay
    There were reports saying many weren’t keen on Rafa either haha and wasn’t Karanka part of the Mourinho set up where the press hated him? On Jese again mate I don’t know maybe he just doesn’t want to play English football and prefers softer leagues? I think even a poor Boro team is a better platform to expose urself on (keep it clean) than La Liga but what do I know

    JackBall
    Can’t be right all the time mate and it was probably more hope than faith where McClaren was involved…think we are on to more of a winner with Rafa though

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  • WWSBRD

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #30

    I should say than low end La Liga like where Jese ended up

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  • lochinvar

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #31

    I would say to Mitro that he’s only getting the first half unless he tears the place up and then he can if he’s done the business in the first half stay on for the start of the second half and when everyone is more tired bring on Murphy and fire in the crosses.

    After all its a game of two halves apparently

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  • jayphoto

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #32

    I think, Mitro sadly is not the striker for us under Rafa. Ironically he’s the striker Pardew was crying out for for 3 seasons… under rafas system, he’s just not mobile enough and not clinical enough. I know he’s only 22-23, and I think he’s going to be a good player, just not in our side in this system. He’s the kind of striker that would probably be better suited to Italy or france where pace is less important because every defence camps on the 18 yard line

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #33

    Jayphoto, as always you make sense. Its not that I don’t trust Rafa. I have had issues with his defensive mindset and still think we should be outstripping this league if we “went after” teams more. For example , on hols I was watching us away to derby. We were much much better, but control of the game was the mantra, not beating them out the gate. I think if we were more ambitious we would have , say, 5 more points. There again, I haven’t been able to see as much of us as before because of the shortage of TV coverage compared to the prem league so I accept that I may not be as accurate as guys going all the time.

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #34

    Munster what on earth – the reason McLaren got short shrift was because he was absolutely hopeless and benitez is world’s away better.

    I’d say if we had any other manager from the usual crop in charge of this team we would be mid table now. You’re wanting this league to be barnstormed but this squad is playing at its best IMO.

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #35

    Clematis, I don’t know if that comment was directed at me. If so, you can stick it up your hole. I have supported NUFC since the 70s – from Ireland. That takes doing, believe me. And I have been to dozens of grounds all over the country, travelling alone at the start on the National Express buses, and to St James many times. Living in a different country doesn’t preclude me from having a say. Or are you another narrow minded little Englander??

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #36

    Tsunki – disagree mate. I would day a weaker squad like Huddersfued is playing at its best. Surely we have the priciest squad. How many from most teams wud get into our first 11? Not many, certainly not more than half.

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  • Munster Mag

    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #37

    Tsunki , I just loved Charva. Just leave me in peace eh ? 🙂

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #38

    It’s as if you think mitros lacklustre efforts, perezs weakness, colbacks one dimensional play and darlows gaffes are completely unknown to benitez until they get onto the pitch ha ha. He knows what’s coming and manages the team to best cope. If he had better players we would play…Er… Better

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #39

    You say Huddersfield is a weaker squad, but I’ve seen feeling that benitez would get more out of them.

    We are pretty new to the championship, haven’t spent the last four seasons pushing for pl like Brighton and Huddersfield etc. Yes, a bit of money was splashed but it was still a ground up championship squad assembled to get us out of the fiasco of last season and replace the prima Donna deserters. It ain’t all that, and to be where we are in one season is the remarkable thing, Leeds, reading, villa… They’d wish they could do it!

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  • hibbit

    Feb 27, 2017 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #40

    you can dissect Mitro’s play
    you can discuss his age
    you can give him brownie points for his cheerleading
    but the sad fact is he’s just not good enough and never will be
    doesn’t have a football brain such a slow thinker its like watching paint dry
    and his temperament has 10 men written all over it

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