Rafa Benitez should be a man under pressure these days, but don’t tell him that.
The manager gave some really astute interviews yesterday and he is as calm as ever and has fully analyzed the many Newcastle mistakes that have cost us what are a massive important 8 points in our last three games.
We have to hope they are corrected on Monday night against Preston, but over the last few weeks Newcastle have become unpredictable in their performances and that’s not good.
It’s like old times.
A confident smiling Rafa Benitez
This is what Rafa has said when asked if he thought we should have been promoted by now and this is how he answered as reported in the Chronicle:
“We were expecting to win some of the games in our hands, especially Leeds. We played really well and we were there.”
“We were winning, had 22 attempts and some very clear chances.” “That is something you can’t control, and why football is so special.”
“Sometimes you have to give credit to the other teams. Sometimes you make mistakes, like against Leeds.”
“And the other day against Ipswich we didn’t play at the level we are used to playing – especially away as we have a very good record.”
“But you have to give credit to another team when they push and push.” “If you make mistakes they will take advantage of that and you pay.”
“The mistakes we made in the crucial moments made a big difference.” “When you are doing well and you think you can win a big game. Then after it ends up being a draw.”
“Mentally it isn’t easy for players to recover. You have to be ready for the next game.” “Ipswich wasn’t a bad game. We were not suffering but we made a mistake and gave them a chance.”
“When we scored a goal we then made another mistake – it gave them a chance.” “After each game, we analyse and work on it. You must do that every week.”
“Promotion will be nice for sure, but the other teams can still do something and we have to do our job. “The only thing that we can control is our team.”
“We have to be sure that in the next three games and we concentrate on our jobs properly.” “If the other results go in our favor even better.”
“Promotion? It depends on us. Not social media or the newspapers or websites.”
I also thought the all important game between Huddersfield and Fulham was in London this afternoon, but it’s at the John Smith’s Stadium (wrong again) and that gives an advantage to the Terriers.
But Fulham are an in-form and surging for a playoff spot with three successive wins and their manager Slavisa Jokanovic is very talented and miraculously got Watford promoted two years ago.
We hope Fulham can get a decent result this afternoon, but after all it’s up to Newcastle to win promotion.
Like winning our final three games for example and showing it was only a temporary blip in form over the last few weeks – as Rafa believes it was.
Howay The Lads!!