Jamaal Lascelles has put a positive spin on the current situation at Newcastle United.
Which is fair enough, as that is part of his job as captain.
Lascelles saying that ‘There is no need to panic’ and ‘We will get through these next few games, we have got a big squad and good players in every area.’
With Mike Ashley insisting on making a profit in the summer transfer window rather than doing everything possible to strengthen the squad, it was always going to be another challenging season.
Then with the way the fixtures have panned out, even if Rafa had received anything like proper backing, it wouldn’t have changed the fact the opening five match run was going to be particularly testing.
Playing four of last season’s top six wasn’t what Rafa Benitez or his team needed in these opening five games, whilst having to travel to Wales to be Cardiff’s first opponents at home after promotion wasn’t perfect timing either.
However, Cardiff are hot favourites to go straight back down and on Saturday they looked very much a team that will struggle, Jamaal Lascelles admitting ‘It almost felt like a loss to be honest because the game was there for the taking.’
Three points would have been very welcome because with Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal up next, Newcastle are really up against it.
With six points from nine last season in these same fixtures, it can give the team some confidence, but to stand a chance of any kind of return close to that, the Newcastle players will need to play far better than they did at Cardiff.
These past two seasons Newcastle have bounced back after starting the season poorly in the first couple of matches, credit to them if they can pull it off again.
“I wouldn’t say this is a difficult period at all.
“We have got a couple of players who have suffered little knocks and, at the weekend, we had to deal with a red card, but as a team I think we got through that OK.
“We will get through these next few games, we have got a big squad and good players in every area.
“There is no need to panic.
“We will just stay calm and train hard, and whatever team the gaffer decides to go for, it will be a good one – we will go again.
“To be honest, I wasn’t looking (at Kenedy’s penalty), I was waiting for a cheer from our fans…but when it came I knew it was from their fans.
“It was obviously disappointing and we would have loved to have been going home with all three points but that is football.
“We started last season with two defeats, so at least we managed to come away with something.
“We just have to stay positive; there is no point dwelling on the negatives.
“It almost felt like a loss to be honest because the game was there for the taking.
“It’s obviously disappointing when you miss a last minute penalty to win the game, it’s a mistake, it happens.
“Cardiff made it difficult for us, it was physical and they try to win a lot of second balls, they are dangerous from set pieces but I thought we coped well with it.
“Going down to 10 men obviously didn’t help at all but the boys worked hard, we stopped them from scoring and came away with a point, so it’s not too bad.
“It was hard enough with 11 men as their style is play is different, we have had a year in the Premier League and we’d kind of forgotten what that style was like.
“They were obviously refreshed and we had to adapt, credit to both teams really and I thought it was a good, close-fought game.”