Rafa Benitez has been interviewed in the Chronicle today, and he seems calm and confident that we can achieve survival in the Premier League – even if he says it will take another miracle – like last season.
Rafa may be overdoing the miracles there.
We are hoping Rafa can bring in three or four good players in this January transfer window so the squad is strengthened and that will help us survive and get the wins we need to stay up.
Rafa was heavily criticized by Newcastle icon Alan Shearer for the weak team he played against Championship club Blackburn last Saturday in the FA Cup, and now we have a replay next week after the 1-1 draw.
Shearer thought Rafa should have fielded a stronger side to give fans what they want – to win the FA Cup – or at least have a lengthy FA Cup run.
We have a terrible record in the FA Cup over the last several years.
Rafa Benitez – seems confident Newcastle can avoid relegation
But we may not have a strong enough squad for that this season – it will take all we have to pull away from the relegation zone this season – even though that’s what we did last year.
But Rafa seems upbeat and confident we can survive in the Premier League this season.
This is what he had this to say in the Chronicle today:
“Our reaction in the second part of the Premier League last season was quite good.” “We have to realize now it won’t always be like that but we have to work hard.”
“It is better to get the points early and see afterwards how far we can go.”
“I think we are fine, but am I totally happy with what we are achieving now? No, because we can do better.”
“It will be easier for us to manage the second half of the season.” “I’m still quite confident if we do the right things we will stay up. Even if it is a miracle.”
“To be fair I didn’t just manage the squad against Liverpool, I thought we could win the game with fresh legs and doing the right things.”
“I was disappointed because we made mistakes against a very good team to give them the advantage.” “We should have managed the game better.”
“The festive games are not just about managing the squad and having fresh legs for each game, it is to pick the right players for a certain game.”
“Sometimes a player who is classed as better in theory, they can be tired.” “If he is tired he’s worse than the other one.”
“If you had Lionel Messi – OK, he would have to be there no matter what because he can make the difference.”
“But if you don’t have players like a Messi or players of a similar level you need players who can give you something physically in a third game in a row in a short period of time.”
The Newcastle squad travel to Chelsea on Saturday, and in the 7 games we have played against the top six clubs this season we have lost every one of them.
If we can take a point at Stamford Bridge on Saturday that would be a decent enough result.
But our defense will need to be at their very best, and we will need to make the best of any counter-attacks we can create in the game.
It will be a difficult game – for sure