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Rafa Explains Why Newcastle Are Now Winning – Next Test Is West Ham

Rafa Benitez must have been a very pleased man tonight having seen all the hard work he has done on the training ground with his players starting to pay off.

We now have four wins and 13 points from the last six games and if we can keep that up for the last 10 games we will beat last season’s total of 44 points.

But we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves either because last season we lost four of the last five games.

But Rafa is adamant he will take one game at a time and do all he can to get the 3 points in every one of the final 10 games remaining for the season.

Sean Longstaff – scores his first goal in Premier League for Newcastle

This is what he said tonight in his press conference after the game:

“We have a message that is very clear: one game at a time. Why are we winning games now? Because everybody is doing what they have to do and everybody is focused just on the games.”

“And it’s what we have to do against West Ham.”

“I was not thinking too much about how many points we could be clear. Just carry on doing what we know we can do well.”

“We went to Spain and trained really well and we came back and are in the same situation. The players work hard and are keen to do the right things”

“They want to be solid as a team and be a threat.’

I said so many times when he (Longstaff was coming with us and training with us he was doing well.”

“He was lucky enough to make his debut sooner rather than later because of injuries but now he deserves to be in there.”

“A lot of positives we have a young, local lad playing well and scoring goals.”

“We know what we have to do and we try to do that. Atsu’s a very good player and he gives us different things. We know we have different things now with Almiron and that’s good for me.”

“We know he (Schar) is capable of doing that. On the ball, he is good, and now he is improving in defense and the understanding with the other players is getting better.”

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Comments welcome.

89 comments so far

  • martoon

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #81

    Jail @75 – True but recently our games have been a lot more entertaining especially against Huddersfield but last night was a particularly hard grind. Don’t get me wrong I’m delighted to take the 3 points I just can’t imagine BT neutrals would be too enthralled!

  • Average_Contents

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #82

    Fantastic win last night.

    Looks like we’re hitting form just at the right time again.

    Lots of similarities to last season the way this one has gone.


    Fat cnut out!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #83

    As Rafa says we can’t lose concentration but for me we are all but mathematically safe, Cardiff can’t be taken apart l;like that by two distinctly average teams then expect to bounce back.

  • geordie157

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #84

    It’s nice to see some of the players who have received a lot of stick (some of it warranted of course) getting the praise they deserve.

    Hayden unlike some previous players who have sulked when they wanted out has got his head down and is playing the best football of his career so far.

    Manquillo, never hear the lad moaning, knows he’s a squad player, he’s ‘OK’ on the left but put him right wing back and he looks fine, actually links play well going forward and is slightly better defensively than he gets credit for.

    Perez, works hard but seems to have got renewed confidence from having Almiron in the side, better with the ball and will hopefully push on and improve further.

    And i’m going to add Schar in too, lots of comments earlier in the season about not being good enough, seems to get better defensively every game and being able to spot a pass, bring the ball forward really benefits us. For me, him and Dubravka have been absolute bargains, as has Perez to be fair.

    Lascelles is starting to look better in a back three, still can’t believe some people wanted to sell him. Slowly but surely Rafa is building a good side, if he can add a bit more quality and depth then we’ll move up the table.

    Just hope Muto gets another chance, think he’d be useful off the bench for 20mins, especially if Almiron was still on to play him in behind the defence.

    Will be interesting to see how Shelvey gets back in the side.

  • Tim the toon

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #85

    Thanks JfA

    Seems a pity, because I don’t think that either Dummet or Ritchie are the answer long term. Dummet is a solid defender, but I’m not sure he offers enough going forward (even with his pace), and Ritchie is a better player further forward.

  • martoon

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #86

    hibbit @76 – Sure, as I say I’m delighted with the win and I’m not complaining because sometimes you have to grind out results like that. I can just imagine it was not the greatest spectacle for the neutral!

  • Bambams

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #87

    I wonder if there is any way we could persuade Hayden to stay he is a regular starter and there is no guarantee this will happen if he moves.

    Hate to see the lad leave now.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #88

    I think Rafa purposefully set us up differently in the second half. He’s adapted the tactics over the course of the season, gradually allowing the players a bit more freedom, but last night was a good opportunity to test how resilient the system could be when already in a position of strength with two goals in hand.

    We shut them out completely in the second half, limited them to half chances and scruffy scrambles and this with our brand new flair player on the pitch.

    It was a valuable exercise, I think Rafa will have leaned a great deal.

    I do wonder what our new-found fans in the USA will have made of it, however. Haven’t our next matches (and last night’s) been given prime-time slots on NBC?

  • beermonkey

    Feb 27, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #89


    if you would have said around oct time that hayden and kid from the under21s would form our midfield hold there own v city spurs wolves
    most of us would have laughed

    it will be a shame if we sell him in the summer


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