Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez gave his press conference today at 12:30 pm for the game at Southampton tomorrow, which is almost a must-win game if we are to mount any kind of win streak and avoid relegation with just seven games to play and we are a full 6 points from safety.
The manager was asked if he would stay on if Newcastle are relegated and he was a little coy in his response to that question:
“I have confidence we will stay in the Premier League”
And then he was asked about the Spain National manager job that he has been linked with this summer when Vicente del Bosque will retire:
“I am Newcastle manager and I want to be next year. I want to be here for a while yet”
Rafa Benitez – coy about whether he will stay at Newcastle if we are relegated
Here are some of the other things he said at his press conference:
“The team are giving everything. We have to stop the mental block they have.” “We know where we are, but we have to learn.We had a problem with injuries but the quality is there. Mentally we must improve”
“We can’t influence other games. We have to keep fighting even if we don’t beat Southampton. I tell fans we will not give up”
“Papiss Cisse was good, Mitro is scoring, Ayoze is doing well. It is good news but a problem for me as I need to choose who”
Rafa is being smart by not saying whether he will stay or not if we go down – and that’s because he wants to get the very best out of the players and make it do-or-die for them to deliver.
If he said he was leaving then the players would maybe slacken off because he will not be here next season.
If he said he was staying they could slacken off because they would know he would be able to get them out of the Championship at the first attempt next season – and therefore they could slacken off.
Rafa is smart and very experienced – and very good.
But it seems extremely unlikely he would want to stay on at Newcastle if we are relegated – Rafa is far too good for the Championship.
However it doesn’t stop fans from asking him (make that pleading with him) to stay and make us great again if we do go down.
It would also be great for him to boost his win rate in the Championship.