Rafa Benitez admits struggling for answers
Rafa Benitez surveyed the wreckage of a shocking result and even worse performance at Portman Road.
The United boss having watched a display that was lacking any of the urgency or quality of what we had seen at St James Park on Friday.
After the game he acknowledged that he was ‘concerned about the change in my team’s performance from Leeds on Friday’ but then was puzzled to exactly how/why it had gone so pear-shaped.
Saying that his players were clearly ‘not focused and mentally ready’, he appeared as frustrated as the watching couple of thousand Newcastle fans who had made the trek.
As for identifying what caused this shocking performance, Rafa Benitez reacted with ‘we know something was wrong and now we have to analyse and change quickly’.
So lucky to see Huddersfield concede late against Derby or else the lead would have been cut to five points and a game in hand for the Terriers.
Only three matches left for Newcastle and on this display it is difficult to have any real confidence in NUFC gathering many more points, with more a reliance on the failings of others at the moment to give the Magpies a leg-up into the Premier League.
“I am concerned about the change in my team’s performance from Leeds on Friday to the performance today.
“We know we have to win our games and now we have to change and improve a lot.
“We knew it was going to be this kind of game but we were not ready – it seems we were not focused and mentally ready.
“We were not focused and mentally ready. When we were reacting, we scored the goal, and it seemed that we had more control of the game, but then we made another mistake.
“It’s difficult to explain but that was the reality.
“We made mistakes and we got paid for it. We have to all take responsibility, we win together and we lose together.
“I won’t blame my players in press conferences but they know what I told them at half-time and at the end, we know something was wrong and now we have to analyse and change quickly.
“We have played so many good games this season and now we have to play at the level we had before.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Murphy 62
Ipswich: Sears 42, McGoldrick 69, Huws 90+3
Possession was Ipswich 45% Newcastle 55%
Total shots were Ipswich 9 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Ipswich 3 Newcastle 4
Corners were Ipswich 2 Newcastle 7
Referee: Tim Robinson
Darlow, Yedlin (Gamez 78), Lascelles, Hanley, Dummett, Ritchie (Mitrovic 82), Hayden (Gouffran 61), Shelvey, Atsu, Diame, Murphy
Elliot, Perez, Mbemba, Colback
Crowd: 25,684 (Newcastle 2,000)
(Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1 – Latest example of Fergie Time disaster)
(Match Ratings of players for Ipswich 3 Newcastle 1 – see HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Ipswich defeat go HERE)
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