Rafa has had to deal with Newcastle´s terrible injury problems since he came in just over three weeks ago and at the moment Newcastle still have 11 players out injured.
Of course only this week we lost Rob Elliot for over six months with a serious ACL knee injury.
But we have noticed in Rafa´s press conferences and interviews that he never complains about such things – and he concentrates only on the things he can control and simply gets on with the job.
That´s a lot easier to say than do – but that´s one thing we find so very impressive about Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
This is what he said when asked if he had ever faced so many injuries in his career as he has on Tyneside:
“Yes, sometimes you have to a position with two or three problems but OK, we knew on coming here, we had a lot of injuries and we needed to manage the situation.”
“There are less injuries now so it has improved a little but we have been a bit unlucky with Elliot and with Haidara.”
“Things that you cannot control.”
“The others are fine. Janmaat is training, Papiss is training, Tiote is training so we have players coming back but we have lost Colback to suspension.”
“So the left-back position, we have a problem but we trained on Friday and will decide.”
“We have two or three options and will have to choose the best one if possible.”
And it seems the player who was late back from International duty was Chancel Mbemba, who couldn´t get his connection from Africa through Brussels airport and his flight had to be rerouted and he missed his connection – and all that good stuff that frequent travelers know all about.
So it seems Chancel only had yesterday to train and this is how Rafa explained that particular situation:
“Mbemba had problems with his flights and connections because from the airport he flew out of, he couldn’t go here and had to go there.”
“He is here now. I was in contact with him on Thursday and he will train on Friday.”
“Always when you have an international break, you think it will be positive because you can work with your players and you have more time but you lose seven or eight players and sometimes the situation is you lose them for a while.”
“You cannot change these things.”
“It has been there for years at all the clubs I have been coaching or training at.”
“What you have to do is make sure Mbemba is fine, he is coming back late but I will be in contact with him, see how he feels, if he is OK but you cannot change it.”
It seems that Mbemba was fine yesterday and he will play this afternoon at Norwich.
Again it is a really strong character trait when you simply get on with the job and don´t fret or feel victimized about how unlucky things can be – when those are things you simply don´t have any control of.
Let´s hope we can get the win at Carrow Road today – that´s what we need and that´s something we can control.