Rafa Benitez has made it very clear ever since he arrived on Tyneside just over a week ago that the highest priority, the only priority in fact, is for Newcastle to stay in the Premier League this season.
And one reason for that is that Rafa will not have a future at Newcastle if we do go down, because it´s hard to imagine a manager who started last season as the manager of Real Madrid becoming the manager in the English second division one year later.
Some other Premier League club will probably try to sign him if that happens and they may be already planning that and watching closely the Newcastle results during the tense run-in to the season.
Rafa Benitez – could have a great future at Newcastle
Is that a very tentative thumbs up?
This is some of what Rafa said yesterday as he made it very clear what Newcastle´s priority is through the final nine games:
“I don’t care if we lose the derby and stay up.” “The main thing is to do the job and take the three points, because that will give everyone a good feeling, but the priority is staying up.”
“If you can guarantee me that I lose the derby and stay up, I will take that. “We will have more chances to win it, even if we lose the derby, but it will make it a lot more difficult.”
“Everything will change a little bit next year.” “You know the feeling Newcastle fans have had for the last six games – as if you lost the Barcelona game at Real Madrid?”
“We have to change that, that’s my idea. I want to challenge, we want to close those stats.” “Every derby is massive.”
“If you go to Liverpool people always talk about Everton, in Madrid its Real and Atletico Madrid, but it always depends on the fans.”
“The fans in Newcastle, the local fans up here are so good, you can feel the passion. Everyone I’ve spoken to tells me ‘you have to win.”
“It is not difficult to motivate players, the thing is to keep them calm enough to think during the game.”
“Maybe the British players and the ones who have played here for a long time will be thinking about this, and I will try to change that.”
“For the other players it is an important game because of our position in the table – and they hear about the derby from our fans, but maybe it will not be a big difference.”
“We will try to keep the players confident to try and make sure the approach the game in the right way, because it’s the derby it’s more important.”
“We have to get three points, and that will may be the start of something special.”
A win tomorrow could launch Newcastle´s recovery, because our lads would be full of confidence in a couple of weeks when we visit Norwich City at Carrow Road and the Canaries have a very poor defense and maybe we could win that game too.
Norwich have conceded 54 goals , the exact same number of goals that both Newcastle and Sunderland have conceded as it turns out.
Two wins in the next two games is the easiest way for Newcastle to start to pull ahead of those teams around us, but on the other hand two defeats would be simply tragic.
So it’s all on the line starting tomorrow at home to Sunderland.
We have to win this game.
What do you think?