Rafa Benitez has pleaded with Newcastle fans, players and staff to stick together following our fourth defeat on the bounce against Watford on Saturday, saying it is the ‘only way’ for us to respond to our recent slump in form – also warning fans that no game should be seen an ‘easier’ one this season.
As newly promoted side, most fans have accepted that unexpected defeats will occur this season, however Saturday’s defeat was alarmingly emphatic and most probably our worst home performance of Benitez’s reign.
It leaves us with just one win in our last eight games, making our solid start to the season seem like quite a distant memory.
Rafa Benitez has emerged typically defiant from this weekend’s disappointment however, pleading with everyone involved at NUFC to pull together in a bid to turn things around on the pitch:
“We have to realise – the staff, the players, the fans, the media – that the only way for us is to keep working harder and together, that’s it. Simple.”
A clear message from Rafa, and not the first time we’ve heard this from Benitez over the past 18 months – togetherness is key.
The players and Benitez have their part to play – and Saturday’s effort was nowhere near good enough from either of them, however we must stick with them. Our support is at its most important when the going gets tough.
Rafa also admits that he warned us that games against Burnley, Bournemouth, and Watford would not be easy, conceding that he is not happy at all as he’s been proved right – with us having ended up losing all three ‘winnable’ games ever since his clear warning to not take them lightly:
“I’m not very happy because I was right.”
When asked if it was a good thing to have a game at West Brom so soon after the Watford defeat, Rafa then said:
“Yes, I hope so, but when we talk about games, difficult games, we say, ‘Oh, these games are easier’.
“For us, EVERY game will be very difficult, as we have seen today with Watford and we will see against West Brom.
“It doesn’t matter the name of the other team, it will be tough for us.”
Yet again, Rafa seems key to remind us fans that no game is easy for us this season – and he’s not wrong.
We may have been a top 6 club in the past and still are a big club in English football, but we must accept that we are not currently at the level we aspire to be at. We have not long earned promotion back to the top flight, and still have a squad full of several sub-par players as far as this division goes.
The likes of Bournemouth, Watford and West Brom have bigger and better squads than us. We may have Rafa, but he can only do so much with the resources at his disposal.
Good times could well be around the corner, with a potential takeover bubbling away in the background, so lets not lose sight of that. A collective effort to get us back on track in the coming weeks can make that dream much more of a reality.
Hopefully we can return to the hard-working, disciplined and tough to beat side that we looked to be in the early stages of the season, starting with Tuesday’s vital trip to low-league rivals West Brom.