It’s the first time we’ve seen Rafa Benitez talk about a points total for promotion this season, but that’s what he’s done in both the Express and Star today and it turns out the points total he thought would get us automatic promotion may not be enough, with Huddersfield Town now hot on our heels.
Rafa says that he thought 90 points would be enough and with Newcastle on 70 points now after 33 games we would need 20 points in those last 13 games and well within out grasp as long as we cut out giving goals away as we’ve done too much of recently.
It seems Rafa has found the Championship and extremely difficult league because of the games coming thick and fast and also every single game is a test.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
We found that out from Bristol City at home on Saturday and they had lost 10 of their last 13 games but still were 2-0 up and we scraped a point with an equalizer 8 minutes from time.
If we keep up our average of 70 points from 33 games we’ll finish with 98 points after 46 games played, which should be enough, but we cannot afford any slumps.
It also seems Rafa would take second place now to get promoted.
This is some of what he’s said as reported in the Express today:
“We had a figure of 90 points that would guarantee promotion…but not now – 90 points may not be enough.”
“We have to think about one game at a time, but we don’t know if that will be enough.”
“I was manager of Napoli and we did not qualify from our Champions League group with 12 points, but some do it with seven.”
“I have no problem if someone said to me now that we would go up in second, I would take that – I don’t have any problem with trophies.”
“April will be crucial and I have said that for months.” “If we won these next three games maybe that will be crucial.”
“But we still have seven games in April and that is when things will be decided.”
“If we win at Brighton then the next will be easier – so let’s concentrate on Brighton.”
Our fans are not too confident of getting win tonight at the Amex so the players can give us a very nice surprise that will cheer everybody up after Saturday’s first half display.
A win tonight is exactly what the doctor ordered.