Rafa Benitez says that wherever the club finish in the table now, isn’t important to him.
The Newcastle boss stating that obviously it is ‘better’ if they could finish as high as possible but that it is performances now that are most important.
Pep Guardiola has said how happy he is with his team after they haven’t downed tools following their title win.
Rafa Benitez says it is the same for any club once they have achieved their main objective, which in Newcastle’s case is being sure they are staying up.
Rafa says that for Man City it is a case of their players having to continue with their ‘quality’ and ‘passing the ball well’, whereas for Newcastle’s players they have ‘to be sure we keep the intensity.’
The United Manager obviously feeling that this ‘intensity’ was missing on Saturday, as Newcastle followed four wins at home with a tame defeat to bottom of the table West Brom.
Rafa Benitez saying ‘we cannot play again at the level we did against West Brom.’
Whilst Newcastle fans have talked about whether the team can finish top half and possibly still as high as eighth, Rafa declares: ‘I said before, that for me to finish 8th or 15th doesn’t change my life…I like to win trophies – not to finish 10th.’
The Newcastle boss has made comments recently about things having to change at the club in the transfer market especially, that they have to match his ambitions, which is trying to win trophies and realistically aiming for top eight and then top six regularly.
“I said before, that for me to finish 8th or 15th doesn’t change my life…
“It means a lot if you can finish higher in the table, fine.
“But I like to win trophies – not to finish 10th.
“This time we can finish ninth, it is better that you finish ninth [than lower in the table].
“But we have to improve, we cannot play [again] at the level we did against West Brom.
“It [defeat to West Brom] doesn’t change too much for me, it is just to be sure that we play [in the remaining games] like we have to play.”
“It is like that for everyone but the difference is that they [Manchester City – Guardiola saying he was pleased with how team have kept on playing after winning the league] have players with a lot of quality, they usually keep the ball and so they have to be sure that they keep passing the ball well.
“However, for us, it is to be sure we keep the intensity – that is the key for us to succeed.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 West Brom 1
West Brom: Phillips 29
Possession was West Brom 36% Newcastle 64%
Total shots were West Brom 9 Newcastle 17
Shots on target were West Brom 2 Newcastle 2
Corners were West Brom 1 Newcastle 5
Referee: David Coote
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett (Murphy 58) Ritchie, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Joselu 78), Gayle (Slimani 65)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden
Crowd: 52,283 (1,000 West Brom approx)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s game – Go HERE)
(Darren Moore thought Newcastle got off lightly – Read it HERE)
(Brutal honesty from Rafa Benitez after the game – Read it HERE)
(Alan Shearer reaction to Newcastle defeat – Read it HERE)