The strange thing about this season – or at least one of them – is that our home form has not been as good as our away form – which is the polar opposite of what happened last term.
We have managed to drop points to teams like Wolves, Blackburn, QPR and Bristol City at home this season and they are in the lower half of the table.
Rafa hopes to improve that home form and we have a great chance in successive games when we play Wigan and Burton at home today and on Wednesday respectively; both are bottom four clubs fighting against relegation.
Rafa Benitez – opportunity to improve home record
Rafa said this yesterday and he wants everybody associated with Newcastle to stick together through the end of the season, whatever our results may be:
“I have said to the players, ‘We have eight games – it is a mini-league.’ If we can be at the top of that mini-league, we will be fine.”
“We have to approach it the same way as we have during the season. We have to start with one game, and after that, we will look at the next one.”
“We are not thinking, ‘we have to win this one, this one and this one.’ You have seen Huddersfield.”
“I think they are feeling the pressure, because they went to play against Bristol City and lost.”
“It is something that can happen to anyone. We just have to concentrate on one game, and get three points.”
“Now is the time to stick together, and support the players, making sure they will not feel that pressure in a bad way, but feel it in a good way, in terms of even more effort.”
“Wigan have changed manager, and sometimes that can be good in terms of their mentality, and sometimes it is bad because you need time to settle down and understand their new ideas.”
“In their last game against Aston Villa, I think they did well, even if they didn’t win.”
“We just have to concentrate on ourselves.” “If we think too much about them, we will lose our focus.”
“Our focus is to play at the level we have been playing at for the major part of the season, and do well at home.”
“We have done that in the past, apart from some games.” “In some of those, we didn’t play well.”
“But in others, we were unlucky – now, we have an opportunity to improve our home record.”
We are hoping we can win our next two games and then we should be in pretty good shape for promotion.
That’s the hope anyway.
What do you think?