Rafa Calls On Magnificent Newcastle Fans To Be Even Better


The Chronicle has conducted an exclusive question and answer with Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez today where the journalists submitted questions to the manager.

Rafa has responded with written answers so in some cases he goes into some detail with his answers.

The Newcastle fans have been magnificent this season in support of the team and Rafa wants that to continue and even to improve – if that’s possible – in the final eight games of this vital season for the club.

The black and white of Newcastle’s great fans

Here’s one of the question asked by the Chronicle with Rafa’s subsequent answer.

How can the fans help in the final eight games?

“Our fans have been magnificent during the whole season, they are incredible.”

“Now we have reached the final stage of the season it is the time to be even better, if they can.”

“They can help with their support of our players.”

“Even if we make mistakes the key is to help the players to try again, to be sure they have the confidence and support to succeed in these final eight games.”

“We are together in this race, we are at our strongest when we are united.”

“The fans, the players, the staff – all of us helping to achieve our shared goal.”

When one of our players has had a poor game we never like to see him being pulled apart in the press and while that’s been rare, it has happened in the past.

It certainly doesn’t help the player – that’s for sure – and therefore it doesn’t help the team, so as Rafa says we all need to keep supporting the players even when they are off-form.

That’s especially true for those tried and trusted supporters who will be at the remaining games of the season.

If we can do that then we can soon enjoy that promotion straight back to the Premier League.

That would be something.

Comments welcome.



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72 comments so far

  • Bobbybee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #1

    Reading some comments on The Mag about this issue. I think it shows the change in attitude over the years. Fans now expect the players to lift them. All about me me me. In years gone by we took our job as supporters seriously and used to lift the team. We are part of the club and our part involves getting behind the team even when we struggle. We used to go to support the team, now it seems many fans just go for what they can get out of it. ‘Entertain me or I sulk’. I don’t get that at all. How many times in years gone by did you hear remarks like ‘the fans turned up, pity the team didn’t’. We took a pride in our level of support that seems to be less nowadays. The manager has a job to do, the players have their job, but so do we. Ours might be voluntary but the job still needs to be done. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but we were always the best fans in the country. Time we were again.

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  • dok - the horrid colonial

    Mar 24, 2017 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #2

    well said bobby…

    when I first started following the toon, that’s what drew me, was hearing St James at full throat on television… and why I still love this club…

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #3

    Chanting and clapping comes much easier whilst standing – sitting encourages fan lethargy – safe standing is the way to go.

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  • Bobbybee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #4

    Dok, it was always unconditional mate. We were never a great team back in the day. 70’s and 80’s we were up and down, but how the fans performed had nothing to do with how the team performed. It was a matter of pride to get behind the team. Can’t remember who it was, but the Spurs’ manager of the time I recall saying ‘if I had my team and their fans we would be unstoppable’. That was after we’d been beaten at WHL. Doesn’t help having to sit down, I appreciate that, but if we waited for the team to lift us back then, we’d still Be waiting! 🙂 Surely as fans, that’s our job? These next few games could be crucial, not to just this season, but the foreseeable future. We need to make a special effort to lift the roof and see how the players respond. I used to love going to the Beer Keller before the game, everyone up on the benches cheering the strippers and singing along to ‘if the kids are united’ and other such rousing songs. Always set the tone for the match. You could tell what the crowd was going to be like just from what the Keller was like pre match. Anybody else used to go there pre match?

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #5

    Just for the Lowenbrau
    I never looked at the big dippers me
    😎

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  • Bobbybee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #6

    To be fair Jib, some of them weren’t worth looking at, but the atmosphere was excellent. Agree we need to be looking at safe standing. Level seven, when they move the away fans to go along with this crazy new idea of away fans being visible, could be ideal. Make the whole area safe standing. You can leave the seats in, so everyone has their own little patch, but allow them to stand. With level seven going half way round, it could be brilliant noise wise. Keep the prices down with an understanding that if you go up there, you make some bloody noise. Be better than the current situation imo. I think it would help to generate an unbelievable atmosphere, like the good old days.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Wow this bus is an express today! 🙂

    Going back several threads, if what Peter is saying about Good and FinDlay then a new CB may not be such a vital need.

    I have high hopes for some of our young players including (one for Bobby) Adam Armstrong. Under the new regime we may even see some of them coming through.

    So unless we’re are getting an AC type back then I don;t see Callum Wilson as a priority either.

    I have said it before but I’d bet that NUFC have someone trawling through all of the blogs, not that I’m trying to diminish the worthiness of this one, still number 1 in my book.

    Last time I sat in a stand was the Southend game at the start of this season, I’m not a tall person but my knees were in the back of the person in front of me.

    Going back to my Toon days it was open air standing at the Gallowgate end, atmosphere was brilliant though.

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #8

    Is Mitro starting for Serbia?

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  • Bobbybee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #9

    Who do Serbia play Ron? Tempted to watch the Wales v Ireland game, just a pity Big Murph is out injured – and Clark. Kinda takes the gloss off it for us Toon fans.
    I see Gibson has been called up for England. Looks like it was a coin spin between him and Maguire. I said ages ago we should’ve gone for Maguire when he was at Sheffield Utd. That said, we’ve got a couple of centre backs getting good ratings from Beardo in the U23 team. Been a long time coming for Curtis Good, but that’s mainly down to injuries rather than lack of talent. Liked the look of the lad we brought down from Celtic though, when he played in the cup for us. Always nice to see lads coming through the hard way. Credit to whoever scouted them.

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #10

    They are 1-0 down away to Georgia at the mo’

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #11

    Terrible blunder by Kolarov!

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #12

    Serbia XI vs Georgia: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Maksimovic, Kolarov, Rukavina, Obradovic, Milivojevic, Matic, Kostic, Tadic, Mitrovic

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #13

    It looks like Mitro
    He’s no 9 for Serbia – yes ?

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #14

    Yup it’s big Al – I’d recognise that neck tatoo anywhere

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  • Novocastrian66

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #15

    Cardiff game moved to a Friday night now.

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #16

    It looks like Serbia must use Pardew to coach them on corners !

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  • Bobbybee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #17

    Right, gonna watch. Later.

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #18

    Mitro scores!

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  • dark x steve

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #19

    Great goal by Mitro there, why can’t he score goals like that for us!

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  • chicousa

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #20

    Yeah, nice finish by Mitro.

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  • Ron Knee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #21

    Exit Mitro.

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  • chicousa

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #22

    A slight limp / knock…?

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #23

    chico
    He took a heavy fall in the first half at a Serbian corner.

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  • chicousa

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #24

    Too bad. He was getting more involved there for awhile….looked like he was ready to score another.

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  • AncientC

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #25

    Mitrovic was generally having one good game every two matches. It is the hypercritical ones that go off the deep-end when Mitrovic has a poor game following a good one.

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  • JackBall

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #26

    I agree. It is true that it is goals that count and he wasn’t scoring, but we looked more dangerous when he was on. Hope he is okay because he may be getting sometime again.

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  • chicousa

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #27

    AncientC and JackBall
    I agree. The team seems to play better when he is in the lineup. If he could recapture his confidence and start taking more of his chances then I would like to see him start once again.

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #28

    The more I see Mitro’s goal the better it looks !
    It’s a classic – he makes it look easy – one.
    Five defenders and him.

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  • chicousa

    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #29

    Yes, the pass to him was a bit behind him, but his first touch and spin was world class and the shot was clinical.

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  • JackBall

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #30

    Just watched. I was expecting a sitter or a header, but that was a nice turn and finish. He’s 22; why do so many want to get rid of a player who wants to be here and who has talent. Unfortunately, we don’t have the best in the world banging at our door to come in, and if they did, would we pay them/for them?

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #31

    Ireland
    4-3-3

    versus

    Wales
    Back 3 and wing-backs

    Should be some goals in this encounter !

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  • welshgeordie9

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #32

    Come on Wales.

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #33

    Joe Allen
    Aaron Ramsay
    Gareth Bale
    all fit
    You have to fear for Ireland
    😎

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  • Bobbybee

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #34

    Oh yes, Mitro rising to the occasion with that lovely goal. Only chance he had all game really but he took it well. One chance. One shot on target. One goal. Set them up nicely for the win. Might’ve taken a slight knock, but doesn’t look too serious. Good idea to take him off though. Better safe than sorry and he’d done the damage. Onto the Wales game now. Injury problems for Ireland might just be the difference. Not bothered who wins so can just sit back and enjoy. Wales to just sneak I think, but they need it more than Ireland. Everything to play for so all the makings of a cracking match.

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  • magspuggy

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #35

    Did mitro look hurt ??

    I still have hope s that he will come good for us given time

    Half his haters probably just want something or someone to winge about

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  • WWSBRD

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #36

    I must of missed when Mitro was having 1 good game in every two matches, was that before he joined us?

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  • Munster Mag

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #37

    James Mccarthy out of Irish team

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  • AncientC

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #38

    WWSBRD, you must have forgotten about the 9 points Mitrovic was responsible for in 3 running games… whilst Gayle was out. 1 goal and 2 assists – within 3, 1-0 wins as I remember it.

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  • AncientC

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #39

    Then again, when you have a bias perspective, the old memory tends to play up.

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  • Jib

    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #40

    WWSBRD

    Is a founder member of “the whipping boy club”

    One of those strange creatures who cannot enjoy a sporting event without finding some poor sod to pick on.

    The club sec. is “Blackley and Brownlie” ably assisted by Toonbrother

    The overseas rep is “the overrated frenchman”

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