Rafa Benitez was happy with the display against Chelsea but not result. His final analysis... 'Next week against Cardiff will be massive.'
Another rollercoaster day in the life of Newcastle United, and Mike Ashley was there to witness it.
The Chelsea goalkeeper having cost far more than the entire Newcastle United team and yet the visitors were unlucky not to get something.
Does Rafa stand a chance, with a squad small on numbers and quality, then further hit by injuries, loan issues and international commitments.
Rafa Benitez still somehow put out a makeshift team that deserved to get at least a point.
After the match the manager said that he had been told that Mike Ashley was at the game but that the club’s owner hadn’t bothered to make contact after the final whistle.
Newcastle are now in the relegation zone and the manager is not allowed any January reinforcements (so far).
The situation is critical.
Even a draw against Cardiff won't be enough.
With Man City at home and then Spurs and Wolves away after that, the Premier League could end up looking horrendous in a month’s time if there isn’t three points against Cardiff.
Rafa Benitez still has confidence that Newcastle United will stay up this season - despite slipping into the bottom three of the Premier League.
A 2-1 defeat at Chelsea, coupled with positive results for fellow relegation candidates, means Newcastle go into their crunch clash with Cardiff City feeling the heat of their grapple for survival.
The Magpies had a point in their grasp until Willian’s wonder strike sealed a victory for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Benitez said: “What I can see is that we have to stay calm.
“Next week will be massive against Cardiff but we still have to win more games than that.
“We have to do well in the rest of the season.
“I have confidence in the team and if we continue working like today we will have chances to get points against teams that will be closer to us.
“We have to play and we have to be better than three teams.
“If we play like today we will do it.”