Lack Of Confidence?

Clearly the confidence within the ranks will have taken a hit after losing four of their opening five league games and the failure to win at Cardiff last month didn’t help either.

But Rafa Benitez maintains he is not worried. He thinks that things can soon take a turn for the better, drawing on the experience of last season when Newcastle finished tenth.

He said: “It’s not a question of confidence … you know the other team is very strong, so with all of the hard work we did in the first-half to concede so early … and then to concede the second goal also, just a few minutes later. It’s quite difficult to manage. We need to improve managing the game.

“Obviously we have to start winning soon because that will give us more confidence. But I don’t see a massive difference between teams. Obviously, the top six, you can say, ‘yes, fine’. But for the others it was just one goal.

“We have a similar level of confidence still. Because we were expecting a difficult game against Arsenal, but the first-half was very positive and the second was something that can happen against top sides with so much quality. “It’s all very similar. It is a time to stay calm, and to see what you are doing right, and what you have to do to improve.”