Whilst everybody else was flapping, Rafa Benitez was playing it cool.

After a number of very good chances went begging in the first half, the United boss’ message to the players was not to panic against a very negative team who showed no ambition.

Rafa declaring after the 1-0 victory: ‘So it was a question of staying calm and trying to take our chances.’

In particular, Rafa Benietz says that he took eventual match winner Ayoze Perez to one side at the break…’I was talking with Ayo (Perez) at half-time and said ‘Listen, stay calm…you are trying to be involved in too many things. Just stay in your position, move around there, if you have one chance – take the chance.’

After a very ineffective match, I’m guessing most of the crowd were looking for both Perez and Kenedy to be replaced, yet the pair of them combined for the winner.

A talented or lucky manager?

Who cares! Probably a bit of both, or at least I hope so.

A great result and an incredible effort from Rafa Benitez to have this squad in 12th place and on 35 points with seven games still to play.

Rafa Benitez:

“I was talking with Ayo (Perez) at half-time and said ‘Listen, stay calm…you are trying to be involved in too many things. Just stay in your position, move around there, if you have one chance – take the chance’.

“He did well, because when the other team is compact, narrow and short, you have to stay calm-  because you will not be involved too much in the game and you just have to make the right movements at the right time.

“Satisfaction is the word, because everything that we were talking about, we were doing almost everything right.

“There were some mistakes but in the end we had the chances, so we created enough to go ahead.

“We knew that this could be this kind of game.

“We knew we were playing against a team that is well organised, who play good counter-attack, are physically strong.

“So it was a question of staying calm and trying to take our chances, we didn’t do it in the first half but still staying organised to control the game.

“We had a period of time in the second-half when they were quite dangerous on the counter-attack, that’s what we needed to control.”

“I was telling all the players just to ‘Stay calm, to keep going, we will have chances and be sure that we don’t give them any hope that they can score’.

“In the end, I think we deserved to win against a team, I will say again, that is well organised and was quite dangerous.

“It was a great atmosphere and the team and fans together are stronger.

“Forty points is the figure we are looking for and that’s it.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0


Newcastle: Perez 80

Possession was Huddersfield 37% Newcastle 63%

Total shots were  Huddersfield 4 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Huddersfield 3 Newcastle 3

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 67), Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 79), Shelvey, Kenedy, Gayle (Slimani 75)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy

Crowd: 52,261 (3,000 Huddersfield)

(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Huddersfield 0 go HERE)

(Despite not one effort on target David Wagner says Huddersfield didn’t deserve to lose! Read HERE)

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Perez has flashes of brilliance, he`s always cool when on goal but sadly that`s not very often.
    just as well Rafa picks the team or i would have pulled him at half time.
    the lads did their job today & deserved the win

    • Clarko

      Pulled him at half time? You would have had the defensive midfield maestro Mikel Merino playing at CAM instead…

      🙄 🙄 🙄

      • thewildchimp

        Merino can play in that role, he said himself that he likes it. He is a “through defence” short-passer, and playing deeper simply means he has more options in front of him. If we played with more offensive wingers he’d do great. Most of his assists are him on the edge of the box, passing through to the running forwards. Basically what AM does for a living.

        • Clarko


          Below is a comment i made a 2 days ago:

          “he’s a defensive midfielder, of the 92 club appearances recorded by transfermarkt he has played 49 of those as CDM/DM, 40 of those as a CM and 3 as a CB. For the U21 national side of the 12 appearances he has made he has played 6 as a CDM/DM, 3 as a CM and 3 as a CB. This season, out of our four central midfielders (Shelvey, Diame, Hayden, Mernio), Merino has won the most tackles, made the most blocks and made the most interceptions, again he’s a defensive midfielder.”

          • pedrodelgardo

            It is more dangerous to win a tackle when you are playing higher up the pitch – you are nearer their goal with their team going the wrong way.

          • Clarko

            Exactly! Why would you put Merino or Perez at CAM when you have Lejeune at your disposal?

          • Jate Legend

            The lads always arguing over nowt. On the same team. Rafa likes Perez because he tries things out and is intricate between defence and attack. He’s not an amazing no. 10 but I can see why he got kept on today and he has an impact. NUFC staying up today where’s the celebrations

          • Clarko

            Reading, not your strongest skill is it…

          • Big T

            Punctuation isn’t yours. You should finish a question with a question mark.

          • Clarko

            I wasn’t asking a question dummy.

          • Big T

            Yes you did. There is only one dummy here. You formed a question. Have the good grace to use a question mark next time, or re-phrase it as a statement; simply, “reading isn’t your strongest skill”.

            Keep your side of the street clean if you are going to throw insults around.

          • Clarko

            “Yes you did”, great reasoning, I’m convinced, my comment was definitely a question. (sarcasm)

            “You formed a question”, did I? I thought you had to end a question with a “?”.

            If I wanted to ask a question, I would have ended my comment with a question mark. You can’t tell me that my comment was a question when it wasn’t, that would be incredibly stupid, stupid.

          • Jate Legend


          • Jate Legend

            Did I get the punctuation right that time? Didn’t realise I needed to revise to post in here.

          • Albert Stubbins

            You wouldn’t believe this is a football banter site when you read some of the bickering on here aboot grammar and punctuation. Gazza couldn’t write his own name but was the best footballer of his generation!! Lol

          • Big T

            “Reading; not your strongest skill, is it?”

            You can’t finish the sentence you used with “is it” without using a question mark because “is it?” is a question whether you thought it was one or not. Your intention has nothing to do with it.

            You’re welcome. Learning is growth. At least you’ll know for next time.

            Less time massaging statistics and more time paying intention in class, perhaps.

          • Clarko

            Again, you’re just saying the same thing over and over again, “you’re wrong because I said you’re wrong”. Feel free to quote/link me some literature that states/shows how my statement is grammatically incorrect.

            I’ll wait.

          • Albert Stubbins

            How to make friends and influence people!! Still bickering on like a bairn I see statto.

          • Clarko

            “buddle road half an hour- Red Bmw- Let’s see how cute you are with your face opened up shall we?”

            “Still bickering on like a bairn I see”

            I don’t want to be accused of some sort of disability hate crime so we’ll just leave those quotes there without commenting on them.

          • Albert Stubbins

            I see you omitted your Tom Clancy response to aforementioned quote. Lol. Silly boy. Should we show everyone your pathetic attempts of behaviour? My twelve your old daughter would sort you out. You’ve been sussed bonny lad.

          • Clarko

            “My twelve your old daughter would sort you out.”

            “Still bickering on like a bairn I see”

            “Were you bullied at school?”

            “You really are a sad little boy like we all know you are.”

            “calm down Jeremy- mumsy and daddykins will have to put you to bed early. Shush.”

            -Do you see a pattern in your responses? It’s extremely disturbing.

          • Albert Stubbins

            That’s called class. Your response makes me think that perhaps you should be on the register if you’re not already that is.

          • Clarko

            How is threatening/talking about abusing children “class”? It’s disturbing, you’re disturbed.

            “Should we show all the boys and girls what a pathetic little specimen you really are?”


          • Albert Stubbins

            You should come with batteries and instructions!! What time does school start tomorrow?

          • Clarko

            Doesn’t make sense.

          • Clarko

            “Should we show everyone your pathetic attempts of behaviour?”

            -Absolutley, my genius should be showcased whenever possible.

          • Clarko

            “I see you omitted your Tom Clancy response to aforementioned quote”.

            -Yeah, because I was quoting you moron.

          • Albert Stubbins

            Should we show all the boys and girls what a pathetic little specimen you really are?

          • Albert Stubbins

            He’s a fool pretending to be clever. Don’t annoy him too much though or he’ll sabotage your house and do nasty things to you. He’s really dangerous honest. Lol lol

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        [email protected]@k Off Birdbrain

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Merino wasn’t on the bench was he? Mickey Love is talking nonsense though, Perez is good and did well on Saturday..

        • Clarko

          Again, what are you talking about? Nobody is talking about Merino being on the bench.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’m saying he wasn’t likely to come on given he wasn’t on the bench. However, your general point was right.

          • Clarko

            Nobody was talking about bringing Merino on from the bench dummy.

    • Ram Kishore

      We don’t have none to replace Perez.. He’s the only player in our team to connect the midfield to the striker

      • Martin Rooney


        • Ram Kishore

          I think Murphy is better at wing… Perez has something different to offer at the CF position than Murphy, which clearly why he is not being played there.. Murphy is stronger at the RM.or RW

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Dummett and Yedlin were out of sorts today and both twice were not watching the game when the ball was passed to them. The problem with Gayle and Perez is when they get the ball three players tackle them. Gayle while missing four great chances at least was there to miss them. Perez works his socks off and with his goal at Stoke and today has kept us in the Premiership full stop. The Mag will give him 3.40 in the morning but who cares what Jonathan says not me.

    • Damon Horner

      interesting you say that about Dummett and Yedlin… Whoscored rate them as joint second best players. I know you’re big on statistics.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Dummett has been our best player sine coming back from injury but twice on Saturday he was not watching the game when he received a pass and a couple of times Yedlin took players on and lost the ball.

    • thewildchimp

      I had internet problems, so the footage was choppy for me (I gave away my tellie) and I could see very well the movement of everyone. (Basically had the time to “look around”). And I have to say that Gayle was awful at positioning and timing the runs and that’s pretty much why he couldn’t score, or why he can’t cut it in general. His selling point is his movability and he isn’t good enough at this stage. If he could sort it out, he’d suddenly transform into at least 10 goals-per-season striker.

      Dummett and Yedlin were excellent defensively and that’s their primary job. They were tasked with defending, covering empty space in the centre and helping the wingers. That’s a lot of responsibilities and it was a hard game for them and I think they were our strongest links, together with Diame.

      • Andy Mac

        I agree it is their primary job however modern day teams are set up to “swap” positions when one full back is in an advanced position. I think thats where we miss out as neither JJ nor Diame are the Eric Dier type of player. Mbemba would do that job if he wasnt one of Rafa’s outcasts.

    • Martin Rooney

      Dummett was outstanding you watched something else.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        I am his biggest fan and against Liverpool it was a fantastic performance and he saved a certain three goals. However yesterday he received two passes where he was not watching the game due to lack of concentration and nearly got us into trouble.
        This was very unlike him as could has been costly.

      • ghostrider

        He wasn’t mate. He redeemed himself but as monkseaton said, he was out of sorts and certainly not in control at times..

        • Pozz Mozz

          Got rot in hell
          You lot slagging off Rafa when we were down, you know who you are
          Have you no shame?

          • ghostrider

            You need to calm down.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Has Mickey love got a new log in? Brains are rationed around here.

      • Albert Stubbins

        I thought he was very good again today. Becoming our Mr dependable dare I say.

  • nufcslf

    Pleased for Rafa and the team, but wish the easy wasted chances were converted to boost everything. Should be a good test next week against a Leicester team that can be beat. Cashley out, just for the record.

    • kingfisher

      Totally agree 👍👍👍

  • Coach Clagnut

    Rafa Benitez:A born winner.