Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2 – Rafa Benitez reaction
It might not have been a win and all three points but Rafa Benitez walked out of Anfield a proud man on Saturday night.
Rather than just giving up and/or blaming the players as we saw under the likes of McClaren, Carver and Pardew, Rafa Benitez actually approaches it with a measured view.
He has shown he takes no prisoners with his team selections, reputations counting for nothing.
Once again today Rafa Benitez left the likes of Mitrovic, Wijnaldum and Shelvery on the bench and trusted those who got the draw against Manchester City.
It was the same outcome but what a journey to get it, Matt le Tissier describing it as ‘mad’ on Sky Sports.
One down after 68 seconds and two down by half-time without a shot at goal themselves, Rafa Benitez says that it wasn’t simply a case of shouting at his players, a more measured approach of pointing out where there were going wrong and how to fix it.
Rafa says the team have responded with ‘confidence, cahracter and passion’.
Long may it continue.
“We have to keep going.
“I have told the players it is important to understand that the reaction is only part of it – that it is more important not to make mistakes and allow the other teams to go ahead at the beginning of games.
“You never know how important a point will be – we now have to do our job in the other games.
“The reaction of the team shows that they still believe, hopefully in these next (three) games, the fans will continue to show their support and we can get more points.
“We lost at Leicester, didn’t play well against Southampton and started to improve against Norwich.
“We needed to show that the character and belief we showed against Manchester City was there again today – we did it and that is the positive thing.”
“It was more than shouting at them (at half-time), they have to realise how we have to play if we want to stay up.
“I said so many times that they have trained really well and that they needed confidence.
“They have shown confidence, character and passion – we have seen that in these past few games.
“It’s a big step because we can keep believing and fighting.
“After the first minute we were a little bit worried. We conceded twice in the first half and we had to react.
“I’m really pleased because the fight and passion the players showed on the pitch made the difference. When you are at the bottom and you see this fight you have to be pleased. The fans were pushing and helping the team as well.”
“Every game is massive, we know we have to perform well and the fans are crucial for us.
“In the end it’s a pity because we had one or two chances on the counter. But I think Liverpool are a great team and they were playing well so a draw is fine for us at the moment.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]