Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez spoke to reporters as usual following one of our poorer performances of the season and that has to be difficult for any manager, when he has seen his team play so badly and give the opposition so many chances via our own mistakes.
But that’s what surprisingly happened on Saturday at Hillsborough after two solid performances against Wigan and Burton at home, when the lads delivered the required 6 points in two games that could have been a little dodgy for us.
Rafa Benitez – too many mistakes – keep your chins up
We lost our position at the top of the league and if Brighton can win their last five games they will be Championship and there’s nothing we could do about that.
At the moment it’s out of our hands but things can change quickly of course.
This is what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle:
“We were making these kinds of mistakes that we cannot afford, and I told them that.”
“But at the same time I told them ‘we have five games to play. We must put our chins up and prepare for the next games’.”
“(Being 10 points ahead of Huddersfield) is good – 100%,” “No doubt about that.”
“I have confidence in the team for sure, but we have to improve these kinds of performances.”
“Because if not then you will put yourselves under pressure.”
“We gave them the hope they could carry on. If you look at the chances they had, they were all our mistakes.”
“We have been talking about that. It was an opportunity that we had to be sure we could take, but now we must wake up.”
“We made mistakes and that’s it.”
The good news is if we can win the game at home against Leeds United on Friday then promotion would be very close and almost assured.
If we win we’ll need at most 5 points in the last four games.
That would be even less if the Terriers drop points on Friday at home to Preston, but also the games are starting to run out for Huddersfield.
They basically have to win every remaining game if they are to have any chance of overtaking us.
We will not be mathematically assured of promotion if we win on Friday, but the pressure should at least lift on our players.
Maybe then they can start playing somewhere near their best form and play with confidence again – and keep winning.
At the moment we need 8 points from the last five games to absolutely ensure automatic promotion and that assumes the Terriers win all their remaining six games.
Howay The Lads!!