After consecutive defeats to Spurs and Huddersfield in the Premier League, Rafa Benitez made 10 changes for the cup game on Wednesday night.

Only Chancel Mbemba  survived from Sunday’s starting eleven and even he changed position, moving from left-back into his usual centre of defence role.

Reflecting on Forest’s 3-2 win in extra time, Rafa Benitez said: ‘Because you play two days ago and you have to play two days after, at this stage of the season, the players have to be ready for playing in the cup against a Championship team, if you can’t it means something is wrong’.

Mark Warburton claimed that Forest should have been at least 4-1 up at half-time but the United boss has a different take on it, saying: ‘I don’t remember too many saves from Darlow and I remember a lot of chances that we didn’t take’.

In Newcastle’s position (especially Rafa’s with Ashley) it is hard to know what to make of this latest cup exit.

The players that ended up on the pitch should still have had more than enough to beat a Forest team that also made changes but they didn’t.

Momentum counts for a lot, especially when you don’t have it…

Winning games leads to much more chance of victory in the next one. Rafa Benitez believes though that nothing has changed for him, stating ‘I have said that this team will improve and I am convinced that we will do it’.

Rafa Benitez:

“Everybody was expecting that we have to beat Nottingham Forest, but at the same time they’re doing well in the league and they have confidence – the game though was more or less as we were expecting.

“They could pass the ball, they could move the ball, but we had the chances.

“I don’t remember too many saves from Darlow and I remember a lot of chances that we didn’t take.

“Because you play two days ago and you have to play two days after, at this stage of the season, the players have to be ready for playing in the cup against a Championship team.

“If you can’t, then it means that something is wrong.

“I thought we could do it and watching the team, watching the number of chances that we had, I think we deserved to go through.

“We knew that going into the Premier League, a new division, a new competition, another level, you can win games or you can lose games.

“In this case, we lost this one. It was a game that we were expecting to win – we didn’t do it and we have to be ready for the next one.

“I have said that this team will improve and I am convinced that we will do it.

“it proved that we have to improve in some areas.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 3 (AET)

Goals:

Newcastle: Mitrovic 3, Aarons 45+1

Forest: Cummings 29, 31 Walker 97

Possession was Forest 51% Newcastle 49%

Total shots were  Forest 16 Newcastle 29

Shots on target were Forest  7 Newcastle 7

Corners were  Forest 9 Newcastle 11

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Sterry (Lazaar 58), Mbemba, Hanley, Gamez, Aarons (Ritchie 77), Saivet, Barlaser (Hayden 70), Murphy, Diame, Mitrovic (Joselu 105)

Unused Subs:

Woodman, Lascelles, Manquillo

Crowd: 27,709 (approx 1,000 Forest)

Referee: Darren England

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match go here)

(Read what Mark Warburton had to say about the game here)

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])



  • Leicester Mag

    The minute Ashley decided to block the recruitment we so clearly need and tell the world, a cloud yet again descended over the club. A year of positives destroyed over night. While I believe the fault lies squarely at Ashleys door I also question the wisdom of the team Rafa picked yesterday. Losing becomes a habit, did we need to make a point over the weakness of the squad? 27000 paid money to watch last night was this not short changing them? One undeniable is we are again in a dangerous risk of unravelling totally.

    • Leazes Ender

      Well Brian Standen knew what he was letting himself in for, so the answer is that most people knew they were going to watch squad players.

      The first team was never going to be risked, the unpalatable fact is that running a club on a shoestring compels managers to ‘throw games’ in order to try and survive. Add Benitez to the list of Pardew, Carver, McClarren.

      Cup time doesn’t have any value attached to it, now what was Ashley saying in the interview about achieving Champions League status and at the same time not investing another penny?

      • Brian Standen

        That team still should have been good enough to beat Forest reserves.
        Outclassed first half and lucky to be 2- 2, only slightly better second half!
        Then ran out of steam in extra time!
        Mike Ashley is draining everything from this club including the players energy levels too!
        Only a win on Saturday will go someway to putting this right!
        I don’t like singling players out for criticism but Grant Hanley is the slowest player ever to wear the black and white shirt!.
        I had the pleasure of gloating forest fans last night , but quite frankly the better team won!

  • Steve Pearce

    “If you can’t something is wrong”

    What is wrong is a fat bloated, unfeeling, ignorant. beer swilliing cancer that is eating away at the pride of our city and should be excised so that we all may lift our heads in pride once more.

  • steve

    The manager has to be able to set the team up for playing in the cup against a Championship team, if he can’t it means something is wrong.

  • Leazes Ender

    Here’s the Chronicle Boy’s reaction to another perceived ‘negative’…… a ‘positive’…….

    ….’Rolando Aarons watch: Winger’s exciting display helps pierce through gloom of Carabao Cup exit’….

    Brought to you by Happy-Clappy Central PR Ltd.

    • HappyToons

      Where can I buy a ‘Rolando Aarons watch’ as has the ring of a designer fake Rolex about it. Better than my Micky Mouse ‘Official NUFC watch’ where the hands began to go backwards and it eventually stopped…after 5 weeks. 100 water proof guaranteed for life … at least that is something as I am booked on The Titanic that is ‘NUFC’.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    the whole Cloobs in Meltdown

  • MadMag83

    “It was a game we were expecting to win”

    There’s part of your problem then Rafa.

  • Rev

    Rafa mate its your job to sort it out. Ashley doesnt pick the team or decide the game plan and we were never going to say right thats the championship won, mow lets sell everyone and start again. Its down to the blokes on the pitch and the manager on the day. If this was Carver or Pardew they would be getting dogs abuse

    • Malcolm Fisher

      Absolutely spot on, blame Ashley all you want he deserves it,but if Rafa has the final say on players coming in, he has to take a lot of blame for the quality at the club, let’s face it, he has sanctioned some rubbish.He is the one who decides the formation, the tactics so he is to blame for the negative performance’s and results. Rafa has the same attitude as Ashley,stubborn and refusal to change,Ashley will not change his way,Rafa must if we are to improve the performances and get some positive feelings back on the club and supporters.