Another Boxing Day, another poor result. Newcastle United learned the hard way that if they do not put the effort in, they will not see the results - especially in such a ferocious league like the Championship.
Sheffield Wednesday were there to take advantage of a lacklustre Newcastle outfit. Though the Mags still remain at the top of the table, this could all change swiftly as Brighton and Hove Albion have a prime opportunity to make a move and gain a two point advantage over the favourites.
One unhappy manager
Toon boss Rafa Benitez entered the post match press conference with disappointment oozing from his demeanour. Before the match came around, Benitez noted how easy it could be for his side to lose this game and following the result the Spaniard said: "I do not like to be right when I said before the game that they are a tough team, a team with experience in the league, with good players and well organised,"
"But we did not take our chances in the beginning - we have to learn how to manage these kind of games" he added with a somewhat sombre tone to this voice.
In the season once before Newcastle have experienced the tail end of some questionable refereeing, take the away match against Nottingham Forest. And many of the people in attendance at St James' Park felt as though the home side were victims of a similar crime. Benitez "we were not happy with some decisions", however firmly added that "I cannot make excuses".
The shock defeat to Sheffield Wednesday now marks the fourth loss at home, Benitez stated “At home or away to lose four games is not ideal for us. We know we have to be better,"
“We have to learn how to draw sometimes. We are thinking that we have to win every game, but sometimes when you can’t win you have to be sure you don’t give them the chance to score goals. Maybe you can score a late goal then win, but it’s something we have to learn"
“Perhaps we will do it better in the second part of the league.”
Following on from this statement, Benitez went on to explain how this could be achieved: “It’s by talking with them and practicing. It comes with experience. We have talked about it and training but we have to do it even more.”
Everyone could only think about how the absence of Jonjo Shelvey hindered the flow of Newcastle's play, and Benitez noted that stating "He is a very good player" though quickly directed to the other players in the squad "but we have enough quality on the pitch, we need to learn how to play without him - and better without him."
Benitez went on to say: "We can still can improve - and we have to. Every game is an opportunity to change things when something is wrong and we will try to do that."
The upcoming match again Nottingham Forest will be a chance for the Newcastle players to firstly earn redemption for the night to forget at the City Ground, but also to show that they can put to bed their performance on boxing day that was vaguely reminiscent of their 15/16 Premier League campaign, and come out fighting.