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Goalkeeper Talks About What He Was Told To Do In 2-0 Win – Mission Accomplished

It was evident in the game against Burnley that Martin Dubravka was determined when he came for crosses during the 2-0 win on Tuesday night.

He handled the crosses with great skill and got plaudits from the match commentators for his excellent goalkeeping against Burnley.

He dominated the penalty box.

And it just so happens that he got that advice from manager Rafa Benitez who was concerned by some of Burnley’s big forwards like Chris Wood up front.

And Burnley put in a lot of crosses in their games.

Martin Dubravka – dominated his box on Tuesday night – excellent goalkeeping

Martin has shown good mental strength in overcoming a couple of mistakes he made but he seems determined to be at his very best in the last games of the season.

This is what he has told the club’s website:

“It was a tough game.”

“We knew we were facing a quality team and that it would be very physical, especially with facing a lot of crosses, but we were ready for it,”

“I think all of the players did very well and helped me a lot in blocking opponents when I went to catch the crosses.”

“We will always support each other on the pitch and be together as a team, and this needs to be like this for every game.”

“I was trying to help my team-mates and do what the manager said, especially in dealing with balls into the box.”

“Although I have to say that the players created a lot of space for myself, and made it a lot easier in collecting some difficult balls.”

“I’m happy that we got the win, and a clean sheet is a bonus for us – and for our confidence too.”

“So, hopefully we can aim to get a good result in London on Saturday.”

Newcastle have taken 13 points from their last six Premier League games (4W, 1D, 1L) and now we need to find a way of coming away with the 3 points at the London Stadium on Saturday.

West Ham hammered us 3-0 at home so we have to try to reverse that score on Saturday.

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Comments welcome.


47 comments so far

  • DaveD1000

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #1

    It was good to hear the crowd supporting Duby in every single catch he made

  • posada

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #2

    Jib has a full head of hair.
    When he puts his wig on to post as Jane.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #3

    I think shielding the keeper is something they’ve worked on in training. I think we had to, also. Well done to the coaching team who identified the need and the players who’ve put it into practice, even if it did lead to one or two of them being nobbled by Dubs on the night. That picture above was just before Hayden was landed on by Dubs and stayed down for a minute or two.

    You can clearly see Hayden, Longstaff and one mystery arm doing exactly what Dubs is talking about above. Great photo for illustration of your point, Ed.

  • Blaydon-Toon

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #4

    The reverse fixture at st James’s suggests we were batters by the score line but we created plenty of chances that day but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net …. we are so much stronger when we score the first goal – that being said we go a goal down it has the adverse effect. I for one used to think it was game over after conceding first but I think this system and team will be throne to change that perception

  • geordietom

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #5

    makes me a bit sick about saturdays match 5-30 kick off most of the other teams around us kick off at 3 …

    then we have got to wait bloody TV schedules …

  • martoon

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #6

    RobLeenio @3 – I think you’re right – definitely something they’ve worked on since the infamous incident in the Wolves game and it worked well against Burnley – nice to have a coaching team who are pro-active.
    Thinking about it I think Dubravka has only had the one real save to make (against Woods) in the 2 last 2 games – I think he’ll be busier against West Ham!

  • geordietom

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #7

    rob …

    what i noticed about Dubs was not only did he catch every cross in to the box he took out everyone around him …

    so yeah i think you made a valid point …

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #9

    martoon, yeah I think the Burnley lads had all been briefed to attack the keeper, too, given the late goal at Wolves. I think there will be a similar instruction given to all teams we come up against for the rest of the season. We’ll need to show similar strength going forward consistently.

    Watch Andy Carroll at the weekend – I bet he does just that.

  • Bambams

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #10

    Wonder if Rafa leaves Manq in the back line or brings back Yedders.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #11


    being petty i know but i think schaer is 27 now.

    real shame we couldn’t hold on for the win v wolves and a point v spurs, but still great time to be a nufc fan right now.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #12

    6699 @5 previous

    Looking at Souton and Cardiff’s run in just looks frighting, I think those 2 will slug it out for survival, on the other hand, if results go our way over the next 3 games we will be in the dogfight for 9th spot along with Everton,Leicester,and West Ham, that’s just how important those 3pts were to us against Burnley.
    Regarding contracts and take overs, who would try to predict what goes on in Ashley’s head ,certainly logic must be well down the pecking order. IMO if Ashley wanted to retain Rafa then why has he not tied everything up before now. Ashley could employ a yes man for half of what he will have to pay Rafa and gamble on survival as he has always done in the past. As for a takeover , something just isn’t right, there must be a reason why Ashley can’t sell ,we need look back any further than the last month to see what massive potential our club holds something just doesn’t add up.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #13


    i always worry about yedlin’s positional play. so many goals conceded seem to involve him. that said, at the other end he was very involved with the 2 goals we scored v huddersfield
    schaer lost some headed goals 3 games running but hopefully has tightened up now as he’s pretty undroppable.

  • Mag52

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #14


  • Mag52

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #15

    For me Manquillo did enough to keep his place in the team for Saturday. He will improve with a decent run of matches and is a safer defensive bet than Yedlin, especially against the likes of tall attackers like Carroll.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #16

    Rotonda, sorry mate – should have separated to two posts, I was saying Perez is 25, not Schaer.

    Bambams, I’d like to see Manquillo get a run in the team, I think he did enough at the weekend to justify it. Not saying Yedlin deserves to lose his place, but Manquillo deserves to show what he can do consistently.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #17

    Two years ago today – Diame scores a bizarre equaliser to set us up for a late win vs Brighton away which was the start of the run which led to us winning the Champo title. Played for and got

    Sometimes you need a bit of luck to get good things going. I think we went to Hudds and won 0-3 in the next game, off the top of my head. If Brighton had won this, they would have gone 4 points ahead of us, as it was we led them by two at the end of the game, Perez coming on to score a late winner.


  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #18

    Quite amazing how for the past three seasons we’ve hit our top form in late Feb / early March. Someone must have a theory on why that is.

  • Bambams

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #19

    Yedders and Manq are players I think we can improve on, dont mean to be disrespectful to either of them.

    Yedders has pace but I agree he get caught out.

    Manq at times looks scared to have the ball, but I thought he did well against Burnley.

    Rafa coaches players so well that they cant fail to improve, with that I would like to see Manq given another game. He is still quite quick but has height also.

    Maybe they can both improve further and wont need replacements.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #20

    maybe need more Spanish training camps during the season.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #21

    Just looked it up – we won 1-3 at Hudds but only had 24% of possession. Crazy how long Rafa has been happy to surrender possession yet has consistently ground out the results needed to achieve his goals.

    Anyone thinking it’s bad play or bad management rather than deliberate tactical choices after he’s been doing it for three seasons consistently needs to get their heads checked.

  • Jib

    Feb 28, 2019 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #22

    The blog killer

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #23

    Yep, twice Jib. On one thread….

  • martoon

    Feb 28, 2019 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #24

    Re Manquillo – at the match I thought he had a decent game. However I watched the highlights on BT last night and Taylor was running riot down our right hand side so now I’m not so sure about Manquillo?

  • DaveD1000

    Feb 28, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #25

    I can’t remember Taylor getting much out of Lascelles

  • toon kk

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #26

    It’s great how a new quality signing and a few wins have lifted the spirits of all us fans.
    Something that was desperately needed.

  • beefman13

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #27

    Again, does Benitez trust big Mike, can we move forward? Are the club happy to be a win loose draw sort of team that keeps you ticking along nicely but that’s it, we must surely be generating decent monies now, is Rafa going to get it though.! Here we go again.

  • Mag :P

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #28

    Fabian schar is the first Newcastle player to top the power rankings.


    Fast becoming my player of the season to be honest.

  • lesh

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #29


    I wonder whether our post winter surges has anything to do with minimal and late summer signings plus late winter signings, if any.

    We all know it takes time for newcomers to bed in and add different options to the squad hence Rafa’s desire to get players in early. However, Ashley, our wise and visionary owner seems to think differently.

  • hibbit

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #30


    they were exactly that the highlights of Taylor’s full game Manquillo had a very decent game and gained in confidence as the game went on ,
    i think your first thoughts were the correct ones

  • toon22

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #31

    It is now 87 days since Ashley gave the interview on Sky News where he claimed a sale of the club was imminent and could even be completed by the end of December (2018!).

    Those claims are looking now about as genuine as when Mike Ashley told Newcastle fans back in 2008, that they could stop their protests against him as they were going to get what they wanted, as he would be selling the football club as soon as possible.


  • toon22

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #32

    You think he will pretend to sell us again this summer ?

    Or leave it till Christmas again ?

  • martoon

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #33

    hibbit @30 – Fair enough. Although I do think, like Yedlin, Manquillo is definitely better in a back 5 as right wing back rather than right back in a back 4 simply because of their defensive capabilities.
    Of course for the opposite reason you have to feel sorry for Dummett who has come back from injury to find we’ve changed system whereas he is better as a straight left back.

  • lesh

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #34


    Forgot to add to my post @29 that more often than not, Rafa’s been forced to accept incomers who weren’t his first choice and that being so, he’d have to spend time upskilling them. More time that could’ve been better utilised. But, Ashley won’t see lost opportunity but he’d see Rafa adding value to cheap buys.

  • Nostradamus the Geordie

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #35

    Honestly right now I don’t really care about the Ashley situation, just want the club to survive the premiership. This way he does not have an excuse that potential buyers didn’t want to purchase us because we got relegated.

    So onwards and upwards, I hope for the Toon.

  • martoon

    Feb 28, 2019 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #36

    toon22 – while you’re around I have noticed you have at least 2 styles: Sometimes your spelling and grammar are appalling whereas other times they are spot on like at the moment. This would suggest that either sometimes you are very p*ss*d OR more likely you are at least 2 people which sort of makes you a multiple! 😉

  • Mag52

    Feb 28, 2019 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #37


    Could our ‘post winter surges’ have anything to do with :
    a. Our good injury record under Rafa at a time when other teams have absentees ?
    b. The fact that we are only involved in the one competition by that time ?
    c. A special feature of this particular season being that our first ten or so matches were so tough that post winter the fixtures have been easier ?

  • Mag52

    Feb 28, 2019 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #38


    If Rafa stays at the club, big if, and sticks to his present successful line up with three at the back and two wing backs, we might see one or two club stalwarts, Dummett and Shelvey ( for other reasons ) on the way out.

  • Novocastrian66

    Feb 28, 2019 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #39

    Toon22. I think he will spend the summer pretending to get Rafa to sign a new contract which will not happen. In the meantime we will not sign any players as we don’t know who the manage will be. We will start the new season with Steve Harper interim manager, someone who the fans will know is doing his best but not up to the task. The whole sorry saga rolls on to an inevitable relegation struggle a transfer window splash in the winter to hopefully avoid relegation. Marks Silva will get the gig after Everton sack him and we eventually avoid relegation by two points.

  • RobLeenio

    Feb 28, 2019 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #40

    Lesh re Ashley “he’d see Rafa adding value to cheap buys” – which is itself an opportunity, though obviously Rafa would prefer to work with a better set of tools (not calling the players tools) than those he’s been given in the past. If he can improve a lower-ability player, he can do the same for a higher ability one, which would ultimately yield higher returns for the owner. Shame Ashley can’t see this.

    I think you are right that the delay in recruitment and subsequent delay in making the team ‘gel’ can be blamed for some slow form, it’s just that delay in the form arriving is so consistent, coming as it does every year in February, even in the Champo campaign when we had no January signings.

    I wonder if it’s something Rafa has been mulling over.


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