Rafa Benitez wants his players to only concentrate on each of the last nine games as it comes up and execute the game plan that will hopefully get us the win.
We were hoping that at this stage of the season that we would be well clear of third place, but with Huddersfield continuing to win their games that hasn’t happened and it’s turning into a three-horse race for the top two automatic promotion places.
We are hoping with a good run in the final 9 games of the season we can still be first or even second.
A worried looking Rafa Benitez on Saturday
The Chronicle is pointing out today that in past seasons our 77 points after 37 games would normally see us well clear of third place in most seasons in the Championship, but that’s not the case at the moment.
Rafa Benitez is nothing if not pragmatic and he has urged his players to concentrate on getting the job done this season – because there’s still a lot of work to do.
Cutting out mistakes is the key to Newcastle having a good end to the season.
This is what Rafa has said to the local press about what makes a football club successful – as reported in the Chronicle:
“It’s important first of all to realise still that it’s about finishing the job.”
“We cannot make the mistake of having over-confidence and that’s it – so we have to try to continue to have confidence and try to do what we have to do.”
“After we have something that we have to improve. It’s a question of communication, it’s a question of sitting down and saying ‘We need to change this, that, that’ – little things that can improve the club.”
“Even when everything is right, you make mistakes sometimes. When something is wrong, you will make more mistakes.”
“The key in a football club is to make less mistakes than the others, then you can be successful.”
Newcastle players have been making too many mistakes of late and it has cost us points and that anxiety is starting to hurt us.
We are hoping that lads can return to paying somewhere near their best form during the run-in so we can get that promotion back to the Premier League.
It looks like Ciaran Clark will not be risked on Saturday at St. Andrew’s, so in will come Grant Hanley and it’s a good chance for the former Blackburn Rovers captain to show what he can do for the team.
We need to beat Birmingham on Saturday before the two week International break.