So now that the dust has settled how are Newcastle fans feeling about what went on yesterday at Ipswich?
While we’re all allowed to be disappointed we lost the game and that we won’t be going up as champions, indeed Brighton are the first to have their promotion confirmed, even so, I really do think there was too much negativity about Monday’s match..
“If we go to the play-offs we’ll never win it… we’ll never get to Wembley”
“We’ve blown it….”
“The players are bottlers”
“We’ll never win another game”
And some of us are even losing their faith in Rafa and think they can do better than him.
I was as disappointed and nervous as anyone would be but when I was listening to the post-match BBC Newcastle phone-in, you’d be forgiven for thinking someone had died. Reality. Check. Please.
I mean, I’m not saying everything is right with the world when it comes to Newcastle United and yesterday I wasn’t happy. As I said, I was as worried as the next fan, but it is far too early to be saying things like “the players have bottled promotion.”
And if you’re saying things like we need to change the manager….have a word with yourself. We are a world away from any need to change the manager or questioning if he is the right one for us.
For all his faults, and all managers have their own, we will never, ever get a better manager in our current place in the football world. We are lucky to have him and I think some people have lost sight of that.
I don’t believe in absolutes when it comes to football. I believe a team is only as good as their last game and when you go out onto the pitch, anything can happen.
Derby’s last minute draw against Huddersfield was a massive relief for us but even if they’d have won, it would not have been the end. We’re still in a position of great strength. It’s a time of the season where fine margins can make all the difference. We need four points I think.
We’d have needed six if Huddersfield had won but if you think positively, if you put aside negative thinking, you have to say we’re more than capable of getting those points.
I know we’re stumbling toward the end of the season and it’s not what we wanted but let’s be real about this and try to look at this objectively.
We’re in a much, much more difficult and competitive league than we were before. The world is a different place to 2009/10 and we’ve done well I think just to hold our own in the top two. To even get this far and still hold a strong position as runner-up in the league is to be commended in my opinion.
Performances haven’t been great but that doesn’t really matter to me. Rafa’s remit was to build a squad to get us out of the championship, and I think he’s doing it.
And if you’re thinking about the next manager after Rafa Benitez. Please, stop it! We’re coming to a crucial period in our season and perhaps our history. We will never have a better man to help us through it.
Going forward we have Preston next. We need to put in a similar performance as we did against Leeds.
If we can do that I believe we can win the game, and if we can win the game I believe we all but secure promotion…
If we all just remember our place and just calm down the negative rhetoric a bit.
Remember we’re Geordies and just get behind the lads during the last stretch.
You can follow the author on Twitter @jonniegrieve.
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