We expected a rather easy win at Ipswich Town today after we played so well on Friday night to outplay Leeds United, yet we still only got a single point when we conceded a late goal right at the death.
And over the last several games Newcastle have looked far too nervous without the assurance that winning matches can give you – that’s because we have only won two of our last eight league games – a shocking run of results and only 9 points.
Rafa Benitez has admitted that his team is not mentally tough enough and we have been going on about all the pressure there will be on Brighton and Huddersfield, but Brighton have won their last five games and walking away with the Championship and were officially promoted today.
That’s what most of the Newcastle fans thought we would do late in the season, but it hasn’t turned out that way at all – we are struggling and hanging on.
It has to be said that Ipswich were probably inspired by it being Sir Bobby Robson Day today – and they put in what was considered their best display of the season.
But for Newcastle that sounds too much like an excuse – and we are sick of excuses over the last several years.
Getting the results means you don’t need to have or look for any excuses.
This is what Rafa told Sky Sports after the disastrous result at Portman Road:
“I am concerned about the change in my team’s performance from Leeds on Friday to the performance today.”
“We know we have to win our games and now we have to change and improve.”
“We knew it was going to be this kind of game but we were not ready – it seems we were not mentally ready.”
“We made mistakes and we got paid for it.” “We have to all take responsibility, we win together and we lose together.”
“I won’t blame my players in press conferences. They know what I told them at half-time and at the end, we know something was wrong and now we have to analyse and change quickly.”
And after the last two seasons at Newcastle, where the management from the top was simply pitiful and incompetent and caused our fans to suffer greatly – we are even having to suffer now through what we thought would be a great season for us.
It hasn’t turned out that way – at least at the end – even with Rafa at the helm.
Better things must lie ahead.