Rafa Benitez must have had all kinds of thoughts flying around his head at the final whistle.
Ending an away game with a point when you have been so far, especially having to play the last half an hour with only 10 men, usually you would pretty content.
However, Cardiff look very much as though they lack Premier League quality and look very likely to justify their pre-season billing as hot relegation favourites.
Muto looked to have brought a large chunk of unexpected sunshine in the direction of Rafa Benitez, only for the penalty he won to be wasted by Kenedy’s disappointing spot-kick.
Comparing last season’s challenge with this new campaign, the Newcastle boss declares ‘Other teams have spent a lot of money on players…so it is new competition.’
The fact even Cardiff had a net spend this summer some £50m higher than Newcastle’s is a sobering thought.
Money doesn’t buy you guaranteed success but when you see a club such as Fulham with a £115m higher net spend than Rafa Benitez was allowed, you have to understand where he is coming from when stating ‘I told the players that we have to fight in every game, fight until the end of the season, a simple message but also a very clear one.’
Obviously, we all hope that once again Rafa will be able to overcome what the transfer spending table shows, when it comes to getting results.
However, you have to accept that as the Newcastle manager says, this season is a new level of competition, with pretty much every one of our competitors once again investing more money on their squad than Mike Ashley has allowed.
Rafa Benitez reflecting on goalless draw at Cardiff:
“We lost two games in the Championship and then won the league, we also lost the first two last year and finished tenth…so it could be positive for us to have one extra point (after two matches).
“However, we want to win every game, especially against the teams who we know will be close to you (at the end of the season).
“I think we were working so hard and that we deserved at least a point.
“We had a chance with the penalty in the final minute, so we could have got three points from a very difficult game in which we only had 10 players for a while, we had to change the system and positions because of problems at right-full-back.
“So we have to be happy with the performance of the team…but we know we have to improve things.
“I told the players that we have to fight in every game, fight until the end of the season.
“A simple message but also a very clear one.
“We have to work really hard, try to use the quality we do have to make the difference in these types of games.
“Other teams have spent a lot of money on players…so it is new competition, we have to reach the same standards, if not higher, again.
“We know that every game is different and the next games are against top sides (Chelsea, Man City, then Arsenal).
“We have to have a different approach to those games and hopefully manage them in the way that we managed some of these games last year.
“We have the belief and confidence that if we work very, very hard, we can get results.”