Rafa Benitez has issued a rallying cry to Newcastle supporters, suggesting that there is no reason to panic after their fourth consecutive loss in all competitions so far this season.
Speaking after the 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, the Spaniard had a constructive outlook on his team’s form and seeks to find the positives from the Magpies’ defeat. Newcastle have managed to gain just a single point out of a possible 15 in the early stages of the Premier League campaign.
Dissecting his team’s performance with the ChronicleLive, Rafa explained: “We did really well in the first half. The feeling was we could get something, then we conceded an early goal – two moments of quality and it is difficult for us.
Summer spend & points from 5 games
2015 – McClaren
2017 – Benitez
2018 – Benitez
— Chris Holt #IfRafaGoesWeGo (@bigchrisholt) September 15, 2018
Responding to the criticism on his team’s inability to make chances, Benitez argued: “I am not concerned because I know my team, I know they think that we can do well and to be there and to be close is really positive.
“Now the next step is to be sure that you have the ability, the quality in the final third to make the difference, that is always the same.
Shearer: “That defeat hurt me more than the MCFC one or the THFC one or the CFC one because I don’t think Arsenal are that good a team. It was a bit of a scrappy game. Newcastle edged the first half if anything – Arsenal were a bit slow & did not have enough options on the ball.”
— AFCPressWatch (@AFCPressWatch2) September 15, 2018
“Arsenal, they told me, had only two shots on target and they scored two goals, so that was the difference in the end.”
The Toons’ next fixture will send them to London where they will face an inconsistent Crystal Palace side, and Benitez will hope his players will apply the lessons they’ve learned to come away with their first victory of the season.