Rafa Benitez has called for calm ahead of tonight’s huge clash at St. James’ Park, with promotion to the Premier League at stake for his ‘inexperienced’ side.
United have lost their way of late and are without a win in three, however, positive results elsewhere and a week to recover and refocus has handed the squad a timely boost ahead of tonight’s eagerly anticipated occasion.
While promotion back to the Premier League appears to be a case of if not when, Benitez has reminded fans and players alike that there is still ‘work to do’, calling for calm ahead of tonight’s potential promotion party.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Rafa said the following about his inexperienced United squad:
“I advise the players to stay calm, but after they go home for 22 hours, I don’t see them any more.
“I see them the day after and give the same message. It depends on how the players react.
“You see Brighton, some of the players are 37 years old. They have been here three to four years in a row in this situation. That is experience.”
While this side lacks the wealth of Championship experience that Brighton boast, a reaction tonight is the minimum requirement to right the wrongs of last weeks appalling effort at Ipswich.
“You have to confront situations and know how to react.
“I think we made some mistakes that are a lack of experience.
“We have done well and we are where we are because we have done a lot of good things.
“If you have a problem, 94 minutes and have a corner, don’t give them the chance to score.
“That is experience and sometimes we lack it – that can be the difference in these games.”
Hopefully we will get at Preston from the off and manage the occasion effectively tonight.
We may lack experience, with our naivety showing in the closing stages of the 1-1 draw with Leeds, but display the sort of commitment and enthusiasm we did that night (against Leeds in our last home game) and I have complete faith that we will be a Premier League club come 10pm tonight.