Newcastle played a 135-minute friendly game today in southern Spain against Royal Antwerp, and it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Rafa was pleased all his players on the trip got a runout today, and there were no injuries, so it looks like the purpose of the trip was met – it was a good training camp in some good weather.
Dwight Gayle somehow managed to miss a penalty right at the end otherwise we could have had the token win.
Newcastle dominated the game but how many times did we do that last season and this season too – only not to win the game?
We need two good strikers in the summer who can put away the chances we create.
Rafa Benitez – happy with 4-day winter break
But Rafa was upbeat after the game, and these are some of the positives he pointed out to the media as reported in the Chronicle:
“I think it was fine, the idea was to get minutes under their belts and create some chances.”
“It was positive for us, they didn’t create too much and we got no injuries. Some of them needed to play 90 minutes.”
“Some played 45 minutes but a lot of them got 90 minutes so it’s good and we’ll see if it can help before the end of the season.”
“In terms of the training sessions they were fine.”
“In terms of the relationship between the players spending time together that was also positive.”
“When you play these kind of games you can’t expect everybody to be running at full pace.”
“They were competing and doing well.There were some bad tackles at the end which I didn’t like too much because it’s always a risk.”
“We think so. (Karl Darlow is injured and will he be OK?) “He has a little discomfort in his shoulder.”
“We have to be careful with him – that’s it.”
“They (teenagers Victor Fernendez and Nathan Harker) were fine.” “Nathan was unlucky because the first shot was a goal.”
“It was quite difficult because it was in the bottom corner. After that it was fine he was in good positions so it will be a good experience for him.”
“I think Victor did well too. We were attacking a lot in the second half and the last part of the game.”
So it seems to have a successful trip for the lads with some good training sessions and some together time to improve the team spirit even more.
What do you think?