Newcastle United supporters have been somewhat frustrated in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side throw away a 2-0 lead to end up drawing 2-2 with fellow Premier League relegation contenders Bournemouth on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their clash with the South Coast outfit off the back of beating Manchester United a fortnight earlier, a result which took their unbeaten league run to three games. And although they made it four at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, it wouldn’t have been the result they were after following Dwight Gayle’s first half brace, with strikes after the break from Adam Smith and Dan Gosling preserving a point for Eddie Howe’s side to leave Newcastle just two points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three.
Thus, there have been many frustrated Magpies fans in the Tavern in recent times, and they are unlikely to be reassured by recent comments from manager Benitez (via The Daily Telegraph), in which he fears that a lack of experience in his squad could play a part in their battle against the drop.
Ultimately, there is not loads of Premier League experience currently in that Newcastle side, with the vast majority of the first team made up of players who helped the club win the Championship title last season.
And having thrown away a winning advantage on Saturday, having done the same against Crystal Palace and Burnley since the turn of the year, Benitez appears somewhat concerned that a lack of experience could be hugely significant in their quest to avoid relegation.
He said: ‘You have to keep going until the game ends but you have to stay calm and make the right decisions.
‘This is what can happen when you play at this level against very good players. Our team is a young team and we need a bit more experience to manage situations like this.’
And these comments are likely to concern some of our resident Magpies fans, whose side are just two points clear of the bottom three with ten games of the campaign remaining.
Landlord’s verdict: Newcastle United have led each of their last four Premier League matches, but have gone on to win just one of them, coming against Manchester United a fortnight ago.
Yet the Magpies have been unable to get the job done against Crystal Palace, Burnley, and most recently Bournemouth, against whom they led 2-0 only to concede two goals in the last ten minutes to earn just a point.
And manager Rafa Benitez seems concerned that a lack of experience in his team could prove to be a problem as the season wears on, in comments which are unlikely to reassure our resident Newcastle fans of their side’s capabilities of avoiding the drop.
Yet they still remain outside of the bottom three, and with improved displays over recent weeks, surely it’s only a matter of time before they start turning some of those draws into victories.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!