Rafa Benitez has come in for some criticism from Newcastle fans for not being adventurous enough at Liverpool on Saturday in the 2-0 defeat.
But the one thing you cannot do against teams with the attacking prowess Liverpool have is go toe to toe with them.
If we had done that we could have been taken to the cleaners.
In these games when the opposition have much better players than we have Newcastle have to be prepared to defend and take our chances on the break.
It worked against Manchester United, and it could even work when we play Arsenal at home on Sunday 15th April and even against Chelsea on the final game of the season – May 13th – also at home.
Jamaal Lascelles – in action on Saturday
The Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles tends to have the same thinking as his manager Rafa Benitez, and the captain has talked about the game on Saturday and stresses that our lads played their hearts out.
Here’s what Jamaal has said as reported in the Chronicle:
“The boys were excellent all game, they gave their all and worked their socks off.”
“Even at 2-0 down a lot of players would have given up and accepted that it was hard to come back against a team like Liverpool.”
“But we kept fighting and of course because of the situation we were in it does leave you a bit more open at the back.”
“We were taking a bit of gamble.”
“We were in a situation where we had nothing to lose and we were still trying to go for it.”
“We don’t want to be losing or in that situation but it just goes to show that the boys will keep fighting until the end of the game.”
“We defended well for 40 minutes – we were solid.” “They got a little bit impatient and their fans got a big groggy.”
“Then that happened – Salah scored – so it was a kick in the backside for us.”
“We thought going into the second half and in the dressing room, we went to see what the tactics were going to be.”
“They scored a second and when you are in that situation against a world-class team like that it is always going to be tough to come back.”
“I don’t think that any team will make us look out of our depth.”
“Even if they do score a few past them we are going to make it nasty for them and keep working.” “We are going to make it difficult.”
“OK, Liverpool’s goals were scored too easily for our liking but we gave a good reaction and we went for it in the end.”
“We did gamble at the back but we were in the situation where we had to.”
You cannot say Jamaal isn’t a positive and upbeat guy.
Jamaal was also just a little bit lucky not to receive a one-match ban when he seemed to impede Mohamed Salah on what could have been a goalscoring opportunity.
But we got some luck and Jamaal will lead the team out at St. James’ Park against the Saints next Saturday in a game we must win.
If we don’t win that game it’s going to be a very long 3 weeks before we take on Huddersfield Town – also at home.