After Newcastle won their last two games we had hopes that we could make it three in a row against Watford yesterday – but we did not play well at all and Watford’s second eleven beat us 2-0.
It was not a good performance from the team and if we can get something out of the game at home to Manchester City on Tuesday night that may make up for what was a pathetic display yesterday.
We expect a much better performance on Tuesday night from a stronger Newcastle side.
Rafa Benitez – 15 important games still to play
Benitez was asked if it was too much for his (frail) squad to have a cup run and a survival test in the Premier League – and this is how he answered that as reported in the Chronicle today:
“Yes. The fans, they know, so it’s not that I have to explain every time the situation.”
“We put a team on the pitch that could win, we didn’t do it and that proved that we have to just concentrate on one competition.”“I will talk about the quality of the other team.”
“You can see the goals were something we could have avoided and the chances we created in the final third, the final pass, it’s something that we know and we need to keep working on that, that’s it.”
“I think this game, we could have won, doing a little bit more, we could have won this game.”
“We didn’t do it, but at the same time, proved that maybe we cannot make these 11 substitutions, so we have to try to maximize what we have.”
“Watford are a good team and we couldn’t create as many chances as we wanted too because they are a good team even changing players, so that is totally different to a Championship team.”
“We did what we had to do.” “We tried and we couldn’t, that’s it.”
“I understand the fans really well from the last two years or so.”
“We have 15 games now to play and we have to be sure everyone is focused and no distractions.”
When Matt Richie was substituted there was some booing from the crowd and the frustrated fans booed at the final whistle as our hopes of a lengthy FA Cup run were over very early – once again.
Now Rafa and the squad have to concentrate on trying to survive in the Premier League this season.
In the 15 games left we will probably need 19 points to survive to get us to 40 points – say six wins.
If we don’t survive then Rafa will be off at the end of his contract this summer.
If we do survive he could still be off then his contract expires – such are his frustrations working under owner Mike Ashley.
That’s a real pity for our fans when the owner himself scares off world-class managers.