Rafa Benitez points to problem that has cost Newcastle 8 points in 3 weeks
Rafa Benitez has told his players that they have to step it back up again.
The United boss says his players have to realise ‘what it means to make mistakes…it is not like in the Championship’.
Newcastle have now won only one of their last six matches and that came a little fortunately against Crystal Palace, having created next to nothing all game, Mikel Merino did well to put himself in a decent position and a Palace defender headed the ball off the Newcastle midfielder and into the net.
Rafa Benitez has pointed to a specific problem that has afflicted Newcastle in recent matches.
He says that his players have to be ‘more focused and concentrate, especially in the last minutes of a game’.
Since the opening day and playing with 10 men against Tottenham, Newcastle hadn’t conceded a goal later than the 57th minute (Stoke scoring their consolation goal).
However, in the last three weeks we have seen Southampton scoring that penalty in the 75th minute to equalise 2-2, Hendrick scoring the 74th minute for Burnley, then Saturday with Cook getting that injury time killer goal.
A needless penalty from Lejeune, Perez too weak and losing the ball just outside the box, then poor defending at the corner v Bournemouth.
Anything up to eight points lost due to those mistakes, as in all three matches Newcastle were still competing for the win at the time, instead coming away with just one point, and also of course gifting points to clubs who are likely to be battling it out with NUFC nearer the bottom than the top.
With a team where goals are unlikely to flow at the other end, Rafa Benitez will be desperate to get things as tight as possible in the defence.
“We have to learn quickly what it means to be in the Premier League and what it means to make mistakes.
“It is not like in the Championship when you make mistakes and you can still win.
“If you make a mistake, then you pay for that.
“We have to learn what we have and what we have to do, how to react if something is right, or if something is wrong.
“It seemed that we were learning quickly but now we are making mistakes and paying for it.
“We have to be sure we are more focused and concentrate, especially in the last minutes of a game.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]