It’s very important for Rafa Benitez to get a good result at the Vitality Stadium today.
With the two-week International break coming up a win would take us to 37 points and 3 points closer to safety.
And once we are safe Rafa will start up his negotiations again about signing a new contract to stay on Tyneside – hopefully, a long-term contract.
But he is concerned the way Newcastle sometimes switch off in games, and the way we started at West Ham was very poor, and we had lost that game by half-time.
Ayoze Perez – in top form at the moment
Rafa wants the mistakes cut out, and this is some of what he said yesterday in the lead-up to the game:
“We can’t make the same mistakes as West Ham when we started the game without focus and we conceded goals which it made it hard for ourselves to get a result.”
“I think it is important to remember West Ham and those early games.” “Everton was a bit different because we started OK and we weren’t playing bad.”
“We missed a penalty and it was different to West Ham because then we started the game without too much intensity.”
“If we are focused and do what we have to do, which we used to do, we are difficult to break down.”
“We will have the chance to score more goals because we have more confidence and the offensive players are creating chances.”
“I think it’s a game that if we do well in we can get something.”
“If we start without focus they are a team that can score goals as you saw against Chelsea when they did really well.”
“We have to be sure we don’t underestimate them.”
Newcastle are a much more potent attacking side these days since Almiron came in and Perez and Rondon have developed a great understanding up front.
Perez, in particular, is playing at the top of his game lately.
We have speed and power in attack and are excellent on the counter-attack.
But it’s the defense that has to be steady today and a clean sheet would really help us to get the win.