Rafa On What Newcastle Have To Do In Final 9 Games

Rafa Benitez has been working intensely with his players this week after the shock 3-1 defeat at home to Fulham last Saturday, when Newcastle could have put in their worst performance of the season and it doesn’t help that we don’t seem to play well at home.

The other disturbing fact is we particularly don’t play well at home against the weaker teams in the league.

Five of our final nine games of the season are at home against Wigan, Burton, Leeds, Preston and Barnsley and we would normally be expected to win all those games, with Leeds United being the toughest.

Slavisa Jokanovic and Rafa Benitez on Saturday

But to do that the lads must get a grip at St. James’ Park and go all out for the home wins – and play at or near their best to achieve that.

We’ve already lost five games at St. James’ Park this season to Huddersfield, Wolves, Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham.

We take on Birmingham City at St Andrew’s tomorrow afternoon and it’s important to win that game so we can quickly get back in track.

Wins are what’s going to get us promoted in these last nine games – as many as possible.

This is what Rafa has said today as reported in the Shields Gazette:

“I have been saying for a while that April will be crucial.”

“It’s more clear now that we have to keep doing the things that we were doing well for a long time.”

“And then analyse each game trying to find the solutions to our problems and quickly be sure we will be ready for the next one.”

“It’s really important for us to rest and then keep working with the players,”

“Travelling away, we didn’t have too much time. We have to recover and be ready for Birmingham.”

We are hoping that Newcastle can get a good win at St. Andrew’s tomorrow afternoon and that will go a long way to improving the mood with fans, which is a little nervous at the moment with Huddersfield making a real effort to finish in the top two.

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4 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 17, 2017 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #1

    A bit unfair to blame the losing mentality on Steve Mclaren, it started long before that when they decided fifth was punching above our weight and we’d be better off going for tenth…ish.

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 17, 2017 at 7:36 AM

    Comment #2

    It’s all been pain for long term gain , so all good and worth it I suppose 🙂 We have a superb manager now, probably wouldn’t have without all the trauma we’ve had to endure. He has more sway and a stronger position with Ashley and his machinations than anyone has had before.
    Howay the lads!

  • Penshawlad

    Mar 18, 2017 at 12:08 AM

    Comment #3

    I would just like to see us start with more gusto at home. We shouldn’t give these teams too much respect. It’s like a cup tie for them coming to a full house at St James Park, and given encouragement they can rise to the occasion. Starting slow is too much encouragement, and quietens our support as well. I was with the Bristol City supporters (season ticket holder living in Somerset ) for the 2-2 draw (had to keep a straight face throughout, because I’m black and white through and through at heart), but I can tell you the City supporters had a great time up there, thoroughly enjoying themselves, and hardly believing how Newcastle let them into the game the way they did. My sons are avid City fans, having grown up in Somerset, so part of me was content enough Newcastle didn’t finish them off at the end, for their sake. Would have been a bit cruel, that. But the day brought home just how much away teams will raise their game if allowed to. Don’t let them.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 18, 2017 at 6:32 AM

    Comment #4

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