Rafa Benitez had mixed emotions as he reflected on the game at Old Trafford.

Heartened by much of his team’s display but the final outcome meaning Newcastle are still without a win so far, second bottom of the table with only two points from a possible 24.

As always though he sees the bigger picture and says everybody has to ‘stay calm’ and keep going.

The Newcastle boss believing there is an upward curve in terms of performances, that if it continues, will see the team start to pick up points.

To sum it all up, Rafa Benitez is telling everybody to wait until the next match against Manchester United comes around, that these next three months will be ‘crucial’ for NUFC.

Newcastle are scheduled to play Man Utd on 1 January 2019 and little doubt this will be a pick yet again for live TV selection.

Before then though, Newcastle have 12 other Premier League matches with only one of those, Liverpool away on Boxing Day, being against one of the ‘big six’ clubs.

Pus, six of these next ten PL games are at St James Park.

No wonder Rafa Benitez is indicating that this period is likely to make or break Newcastle’s season.

The next game at home to Brighton is looking pivotal already, win that and start looking up again, defeat isn’t worth thinking about.

Rafa Benitez:

“It is difficult to take because we did so well.

“At 2-0 we had chances to score the third and we had control against a very good team.

“When we conceded the first goal, we started to have problems because they have so many good players that they could bring off the bench, and it is difficult to contain them.

“We have to stay calm and be sure that we continue working in this way – because we will win games if we play like that.

“By the end of December we will see where we are because for me these next three months will be crucial.

“We have important games in October and November, then there are a lot of games in December.

“In the next three months we are going to be playing against a lot of teams who are around us and at our level, we have to go and pick up the points from these games.

“I think we will have a better idea about the possibilities of the season by then but I still have confidence in these players.

“In December last year, we were in the bottom five, but still managed to finish 10th.

“It’s about carrying on and doing the same things that we did to turn things around then.

“I think everybody can see where we’re at…it is not just Mike Ashley.

“Everybody can see that the team is working so hard and doing so many good things, but we were playing against one of the top six, you cannot compete against them player for player during 90 minutes.

“We have to do everything well as a team, and we did it, but when you make mistakes, they score and the game changes.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Manchester United 3 Newcastle United 2

Goals:

Newcastle: Kenedy 7, Muto 10

Man Utd: Mata 70, Martial 76, Sanchez 90

Possession was Man Utd 73% Newcastle 27%

Total shots were  Man Utd 18 Newcastle 13

Shots on target were Man Utd 10 Newcastle 8

Corners were  Man Utd 10 Newcastle 6

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy (Murphy 68), Perez (Joselu 88), Muto (Atsu 78)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Clark, Schar, Hayden

Crowd: 74,519 (NUFC Approx 3,000)

(Alan Shearer blames referee for Newcastle not beating Man Utd – Read Here)

(NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s cruel defeat Here)

(Positives and Negatives from the match Here)

(A tale of two benches – Read Here)



  • Chris-Chapple

    Rafa worked a miracle last season, not sure he can do it again, Rondon looks like another Slimani, Muto promising & Fernandez does a job but makes errors at crucial times in the games, not as good as Lejuene. Diame back to normal which is average at best, Perez one decent game in four. Joselu totally useless.
    can`t hold on to a lead, can`t recover if we go behind.

    • Peaky

      Couldn’t agree more..

      • Ron

        We need more than some good signings in January we need Harry Potter’s wand!

        • Peaky

          Just wait until the Keegan book and tour business dies down…..Fatso & his minions will disappear again…

          • Kneebotherm8

            Down the hole from where they came.

  • Cockneytrev

    It’s been a brutal fixture list,,
    Just hoping that we can pick up wins in the next few matches, draws are no good to us we now need wins, I was hoping we might have picket up the odd point against one of the top teams and a win against Cardiff city, we were very unlucky on Saturday and but for a glaring referee mistake, I think we would have went on and won the game,,
    But our bench is a massive worry ,, it’s so weak!!!!! Any injuries and we are in deep 💩

    • Kneebotherm8

      Rafa’s working on a shoestring with a threadbare squad.

  • Themoscow72

    Never seen a season like this one for decisions going against us. The Chelsea and Leicester and Man Utd penalty decisions being the tip of the iceberg. Wonder how many more players of ours will get sent off before an opposition walks a few I suspect.

  • Kneebotherm8

    We’ve played mainly top eight teams in the first 8 games……the only 2 games we didn’t,Cardiff and Palace,we picked points up from……..the games up till Xmas against bottom half teams,in the main,will be pivotal………Benitez is right about that….

    • Leazes.

      Excellent we’ll probably pick up 22 points by the end of the season then.

      • Kneebotherm8

        At least 22……

  • t00nraider

    Can you even gets odds on getting a penalty against that dirty team at Old Trafford?

  • Philippines

    Frankly, if we get relegated I would still want Rafa as the manager. The ‘bounce of the ball’ (and the referee) has been very much against us in most of the matches so far. I for one am optimistic that things will come good soon.