Martin Dubravka taking leading role – Calls for team meeting to sort things
Martin Dubravka is looking to be one of Rafa Benitez’ very best signings.
Costing £4m after an initial loan, the keeper has clearly been Newcastle’s best player over the course of this calendar year.
A man of the match display on his debut in the win over Man Utd in April, the Slovakian international is dreaming of the same again on Saturday, though says the team will need the ‘same attitude’ as they showed in that 1-0 victory.
Martin Dubravka has been so refreshing, a commanding goalkeeper, very vocal on the pitch, and most importantly, impressive when it comes to stopping the ball going into the net.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out where Newcastle’s main problems lie, whilst only two clubs outside the top six have conceded less than the 10 Martin Dubravka has leaked, no PL club has scored less than NUFC’s four in seven games.
We all know that Newcastle have one of the weakest teams/squads in the Premier League and that only by being a team stronger than the individual parts, can Rafa’s team hope to avoid a season-long relegation struggle.
To that end, Martin Dubravka says he told Captain Jamaal Lascelles needed to call a meeting of the whole team/squad for them to have an honest exchange of views, to help find that intensity and togetherness that helped produce that February to April run to PL safety.
Manchester United have plenty of problems/issues of their own but for Newcastle to stand any chance of taking advantage of that, they need to drastically step up their own game first.
“We need to be honest with each other…
“I spoke to Jamaal Lascelles and said that we needed to arrange a meeting with all the players.
“We need to talk honestly and we need to change something.
“If I did know what was wrong, then I would be honest and tell all of the guys.
“We need to analyse everything but we have to (also) be honest with each other, we didn’t do that until now I think.
“We lost another game (v Leicester) so confidence is not high right now.
“We have to all sit down together and speak about which direction we need to go now, we all have to go in the same direction, every player.
“Everybody has to know which kind of system we play and Rafa has told us many times how we should do things…we were a little bit confused in a few moments but for me, it was more important how we react and we did not react well.
“We need to be honest with each other and react differently, because we have an attitude and we have a mentality, but we need to bring it onto the pitch.
“We had spoken a lot about how we react when we concede a goal but it was almost the same against Leicester .
“We started the second half well, then conceded a goal and after that, did not create anything.
“We win together and we lose together but as I said, we need to be honest with each other and if we want to be successful we need to change something.
“We cannot speak like this just because we play against the top teams, we knew we had a tough fixture list but we all felt we could take some points.
“So we cannot say ‘the league starts now’ (after those games against last season’s top six).
“Hopefully, we could achieve the same result as last time against Manchester United (1-0 at St James Park) and that would be good, but it will be a tough game and we have to bring the same attitude as last season and do the same things.
“It is no good talking about the same things again and again…if we want to change things then we have to start it off by doing it ourselves.
“It is down to us and no one else, we need to be honest with each other and stick together as a team, but let’s have this meeting and talk.”
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