Rafa Benitez was not happy with the Newcastle performance yesterday, and he has pinpointed what Newcastle have lost since we reached 41 points three games ago,
But the manager is right when he says we haven’t pushed on from there, and are now in danger of finishing lower than 10th in the league.
The team is not playing with the intensity they have shown all year, and it’s that which is causing us to lose games too easily.
We are back to losing games – with three defeats in a row – and if we can get one win in the last two games that could be just enough to finish in the top half.
Rafa Benitez at Vicarage Road yesterday
This is what Rafa said after the games to the BBC:
“We have to start with more focus and concentration.” “We were not in the game in the first half.
“We made too many mistakes and the penalty decision was a surprise – it could have been 3-0.”
“In the second half the team showed more of what we have seen for the majority of the season – they worked hard and created chances, but we didn’t quite do enough to equalize.”
“I’m not too worried about losing three in a row, the main thing was to stay up and we did it.”
“Now we will see what happens in these next games.”
“The players have done a great job through the season and they have not been doing that recently, but we have the two games left and we will see if they can do that again.”
“When we don’t have the intensity we look exposed.” “When we do have intensity and everybody is focused, we can beat anyone.
“Too many things we weren’t doing well.”
“The reaction of the team in the second half is what I was expecting, and it’s a pity because you have to do it in the first half too.
“When it is very hot, it is not easy to put some tempo on the game.”
“We tried to move the ball quickly, but credit to them, because they were using the spirit that they have.”
“But it is a pity for us because I felt we could get at least a point.”
We have now lost the last five games in all competitions against Watford,
It doesn’t help that Leicester City lost again – a 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham, and they remain only two points above us in the league table.
But quite honestly we have not deserved to be higher based on the way we have played in these last three games.
We are far too relaxed and our players think the season is over.