There were just too many mistakes made in the game against Cardiff City in the early game on Saturday.
But in the end, we were unlucky not to come away with the win after Kenedy missed a last-minute penalty.
But at least we picked up an away point, and we have done better than the previous two seasons when we lost both of our first two games.
Now we have league games coming up against Chelsea (H), Manchester City (A) and Arsenal (H).
We beat both Chelsea and Arsenal in these fixtures last season, but Newcastle will have to play a lot better than we did at Cardiff to get a win in any of those three games.
Newcastle have made another slow start to this season, but we should improve as the season progresses and several of the new players get drafted into the team.
Rafa Benitez – on Saturday at Cardiff City
This is what Rafa said after the game on Saturday as reported in the Chronicle today:
“I told the players that we have to fight in every game, and fight until the end of the season.”
“It is a simple message, but it is also a very clear one.”
“For us, these kind of games that are physical, when from the first minute we were making mistakes – and then we improved – it is only going to difficult.”
“When we went down to 10 men, it was even tougher and we had to show even more fight.”
“We have to work really hard and try to use the quality we have to make the difference in these types of games if we can.”
“No, I don’t think the players lost control. I just think this was a game at the beginning of the season, which is always more difficult.”
“Especially when you have done well last season, you – as players – need to realize that everyone is stronger.”
“Other teams have spent a lot of money on players so it’s a new competition and we have to reach the same standards, if not higher, again.”
“To be fair, you don’t analyze what happens in the past too much. But it’s true; we lost two games in the Championship and then won the league.”
“We also lost the first two last year and finished 10th,”
“So it could be positive for us to have one extra point.”
“We want to win every game though, and especially against those teams who you know will be close to you because they are even more important.”
“But, in the end, I think that we were working so hard that we deserved at least a point.”
“And, because we had the chance with the penalty in the final minute, we could have got 3 points from a very difficult game in which we only had 10 players for a while.”
“We had to change the system and positions because we had problems at right-full-back.”
“So we have to be happy with the performance of the team, but still we know we have to improve things.”
It’s just a pity we couldn’t have won the game – but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
Good comments from Rafa.