Rafa Benitez has insisted that Newcastle fans should not be concerned following last night’s shocking 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup – stating that we all knew the beginning of the season would be difficult.
The gaffer admitted he was ‘disappointed’ by our performance – being especially frustrated by our awful start to the game – however he’s vowed to keep on working and has clearly called for calm after yet another poor showing from the team.
Here’s what he said when asked by Sky Sports if Newcastle fans should be worried following our poor start to the season:
“No, don’t be concerned.
“They knew at the beginning it would be a difficult start to the season so we must just keep working and carrying on.
“I am disappointed.
“When we had the draw and we were there, everyone saw what happened.
“We had the chances with the header in the first half. The final delivery or pass has to be better.”
Benitez was clearly frustrated by the appalling decision that saw us denied a clear and obvious penalty (with Perez blatantly bundled over in the box by Forest’s goalkeeper), however this can’t take away from how poor we were.
We didn’t deserve to go through, and he clearly accepts that our final ball was not good enough.
Many fans also feared that the off-field issues (with a rift between Lascelles, Benitez and Ritchie reported) were now affecting players on the pitch following last night’s performance, however Rafa was adamant that the atmosphere in the dressing room is good:
“There are no big issues
“In the game you want players competing and who care.
“There are things that can happen in the dressing room that can happen but the atmosphere is good.”
Finally, on the plus side, Rondon opening his account for the club was a big positive to take, with Benitez also impressed by Jamie Sterry and Sean Longstaff – who did not look out of place given how poor several players around them were playing:
“The positive today?
“Rondon scored a goal so you have to have your strikers scoring goals.”
“Longstaff and Sterry did well. Given they are young they overall played well.”
What do you make of these comments from Rafa folks?
Reassuring or is there genuine reason to be concerned after four games without a win and another uninspiring display?