One win can make all the difference, says Rafa
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Rafa Benítez is confident that one victory will be enough to breathe new life into Newcastle United’s Premier League campaign.
The Magpies take on West Ham United tomorrow having picked up just one point from the last 27 available. That, collected after a 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion, is all Benítez’s troops have to show for their efforts since beating Crystal Palace at St. James’ Park midway through October.
Now, they lock horns with a West Ham side hitting form. Under David Moyes, the Irons have climbed out of the bottom three – leapfrogging Newcastle in the process – and cruised to a 3-0 victory against fellow strugglers Stoke City a week ago.
Benítez has not been surprised to see Saturday’s opponents improve, but feels that a win at the London Stadium could prove the catalyst for the Magpies to embark on a similar run of their own.
“I am concerned about the bad run but I am sure that as soon as we win one game, the confidence will come back and we will start doing as well as we were at the beginning,” he said. “I am as disappointed as any of the fans, because we know that we were doing well and we have to get back to the good habits.
“We have been talking about managers changing, but to be fair (West Ham) have some very good players. Maybe it was confidence, or whatever, but they are reacting, they are doing well, and we have to make sure they have a difficult game. Anything can happen in the Premier League, and we have confidence we can beat them. If we can, we’ll be higher in the table and we’ll have more confidence, so it’s just to be sure we approach the game with the belief we can achieve the result we want.”
With the Magpies sitting in the relegation zone for the first time since the opening day of the season, Benítez took a moment to compare his side’s current predicament with the one he inherited when he first took charge in March 2016.
And, he came to a positive conclusion.
“When I arrived, we had a very good team but a lot of injuries and some positions we couldn’t cover. And I think we were unlucky in the first games because we had to play against Leicester, Sunderland and Norwich. We didn’t have time to compete against Leicester, who won the title, and Sunderland and Norwich, it was too early because they were our rivals at the end,” he said.
“We did well after those first games but it was not enough, we didn’t have enough time. Now we have time, and we have a good group of players who want to work hard.”
"I am concerned about the bad run but I am sure that as soon as we win one game, the confidence will come back and we will start doing as well as we were at the beginning."