Rafa Benitez is an extremely pragmatic and hard-working man and after only getting one point from the last three games he spent last week coaching and talking to the players about what they did wrong at Ipswich in the shocking 3-1 defeat.
He also delivered a simple message on how they can become successful.
The Ipswich game was one of our worst displays on the road this season and it followed one of our best displays at home against Leeds United who we completely outplayed.
We didn’t get the 1-0 win because right at the end of extra time some of our players lost their concentration and we conceded a sloppy goal – another sloppy goal.
2 more points dropped.
A dapper looking Rafa Benitez
There was nothing much wrong with Newcastle in the previous Leeds United game so the Ipswich mess must have been caused in part by a lack of concentration, which is a big no-no and how we can easily concede goals.
That’s especially true at the higher levels of European football.
Rafa has been getting the lads back to basics over the last few days and he wants the mistakes to be cut out against the Lilywhites tomorrow night at St. James’ Park.
A win in that game will take us back to the Premier League – a draw will not.
Rafa has talked about his target for this season and at the end of his comments he makes the point that it’s all up to us in any case – whatever happens:
“My target was always to try to go up. It doesn’t matter to me the position, so the main thing is just to make sure we finish our job.”
“I am sure that everything is fine if we go up. In six months’ time, nobody will remember if we won or lost any games, just that we were promoted, that was the target.”
“I always talk about experience and in this case, stats and history if you want.”
“In the last five years, you haven’t had too many teams going straight up – just one.”
“So that shows how difficult it is for the teams who were relegated.”
“It’s just so simple: it depends on us and if we work hard and play well and we are a little bit lucky sometimes, we will be there.”
The last eight games have given us some poor results although after the International break we had two great home wins against Wigan and Burton Albion – who beat Leeds United 2-1 at home yesterday.
We thought things would turn around after those two stellar home wins and we could maybe win the next six games and win the Championship.
But it was not be – the lads have put the fans through the wringer again.
It looks very difficult now for us to win the Championship – unless Brighton collapse (they wont) – but we are completely OK with that and as long as we are promoted – hopefully tomorrow night at about 9:45pm.
Then Rafa can start concentrating on winning some real trophies.
Howay The Lads!!