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Rafa Benitez spells out what Mike Ashley has reduced Newcastle to “We will try to find three teams worse than us, that is it”

5 months ago
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Rafa Benitez has identified at least two targets, one short-term and one longer-term.
The immediate problem is to win a match, to get that starting point.
The Newcastle boss saying ‘It’s a question now of having one game where we might be lucky to score – to change the confidence and everything will change.’
Confidence and momentum are massive factors and we saw the two extremes last season.
A run from October to December with only one point from nine games, even worse than this current one, then of course the February to April run that took NUFC to early safety with results such as victories over both Arsenal and Man Utd.
As for longer-term goals/hopes, Rafa Bentez declares ‘We will try to find three teams worse than us, that is it.’
Most Newcastle fans have seriously doubted after this summer’s transfer window, whether there are indeed three teams/squads that are worse than Newcastle’s.
Last season’s 10th place finish (on final day of season Newcastle could have ended up 15th if results had gone against them) has clouded the issue for some, reality was that Newcastle carried significant luck at times and Rafa Benitez’ expertise and experience did the rest.
The Rafa factor was the biggest hope for Newcastle fans this season as well, hoping he could make the team better than the individuals who make up the side.
We haven’t really seen much evidence of this so far, late summer signings on a non-existent budget adding to the manager’s problems.
Are there three worse teams this season?
I think we can still be hopeful that Huddersfield and Cardiff will prove to be worse, whilst Brighton were woeful on Saturday and certainly no better than Newcastle. However, problem is that already they have nine more points on the board than NUFC.
Fulham score goals but are conceding many more…but at the minute Newcastle are conceding enough and look incapable of scoring many/any goals against the clubs they need to. Blanks already against Cardiff, Leicester, Palace and Brighton.


Rafa Benitez:
‘We will try to find three teams worse than us, that is it.
“They (Newcastle fans) can see the team’s working really hard. 
“They can be upset if they miss a pass or a chance, but the players…they are trying, and 
“Should they stick with us?
“Yes. It’s good if they stick with us.
“That is the right message, because we need everybody on board, to realise that’s the only way.
“When you are bottom of the table, normally it’s more difficult to play the way that you want to play.
“Now we are there, I said before with the fixtures we’ve had it was going to be difficult.
“We’d like to think we could be higher, and with the performances, we deserve to be higher, but that’s where we are and we have to try to carry on.
“We will analyse what we did right and wrong.
“We did almost everything that we had to do.
“Winning a game (though) is about the final third, the final pass and the decisions we make.
“We are a little bit under pressure because the time is short now and you play with anxiety trying to make the right decisions.”

Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Brighton 1
Goals:
Brighton: Kayal 29
Possession was Brighton 32% Newcastle 68%
Total shots were  Brighton 8 Newcastle 27
Shots on target were Brighton 2 Newcastle 6
Corners were  Brighton 2 Newcastle 10
Referee: Andre Marriner
Newcastle United:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez, Muto (Joselu 74)
Unused Subs:
Darlow, Atsu, Murphy, Schar, Hayden, Manquillo
Crowd: 50,329 (Brighton approx 1,300)
(Can these statistics from Newcastle 0 Brighton 1 be misleading? Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the defeat HERE)
(Match ratings of all NUFC players v Brighton HERE)
(Lee Charnley “We’ll do better when we play the lesser teams” – Read HERE)

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