Ayoze Perez has admitted that Rafa Benitez told the players that they had to realise that they ‘did not do well at all’ in the moments that followed the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday, asking them not to blame each other, but to learn from their mistakes instead.
Conceding in the 92nd minute to lose once again on Saturday came as a bitter blow, especially following the 1-0 defeat at Burnley earlier that week – leaving us with just one win in our last 6.
It was a game we should have been ahead in at half-time, but lapses at both ends and a non-existent second half display proved costly in end, with Ayoze Perez revealing here just how Benitez made it clear to the players after the match that their performance was unacceptable:
“It was disappointing. We made a lot of mistakes and we paid the price,”
“The manager told us that we have to realise that we did not do well at all – we made mistakes that gave the opposition chances to score and we cannot blame each other.
“We have to realise that was not good enough.”
Perez then went on to admit that whilst games against Burnley and Bournemouth could have gone differently, the team must keep on improving to make sure they do more than just ‘control’ games – emphasising the importance of us being better at both ends of the pitch in the key moments:
“Even with that in mind we could have won the game. Still we have a lot of games to play.
“We need to keep going, keep improving and make sure we start giving less chances away to other teams, that way we will win more games than we lose.
“In both games [against Burnley and Bournemouth] we had moments, we had control – but that was not enough.
“The games are 93 minutes long, we must play from the start right to the end. Any chance we get to score we must take it. We did not do that against Burnley or Bournemouth.
“The control is not enough, we must be better at both ends of the pitch. We must focus on working on that and getting better.”
A harsh lesson to learn for the players on Saturday, but one Benitez hasn’t let them get away with lightly.
In reality, if Dwight Gayle’s goal stood, things might have gone very differently against Bournemouth, but that is no excuse.
Benitez will not be happy with the way we missed our opportunity to take the game by the scruff of the neck in the first half, and will be even more frustrated with the way we fizzled out in the second.