Rafa Benitez is doing everything he can to learn about the upcoming 46-game Championship season and he knows full well that it’s going to be tough and there will be many difficult away games in the division.
So one thing he has to ensure is that when we play away from home next season, all our players turn up.
If Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko – as two examples are still with us – then they also will have to turn up at the more difficult smaller grounds like Pirelli Stadium at Burton Albion, which has a capacity of only 6,912 with 2,034 of those being seated.
Rafa Benitez backed by the Toon Army
Clubs like Burton Albion are the salt of the earth of the English game and it’s great to see smaller clubs like Burton Albion doing so well.
And last season, Bournemouth, as another example, showed they were good enough to stay in the Premier League with their small ground at the Vitality Stadium (Dean Court), which has a capacity of only 11,464.
The Pirelli Stadium at Burton Albion
Bournemouth will be getting around £120M next May from the Premier League and Newcastle will not.
Newcastle fans are really upbeat about next season, but we cannot get too carried away and it is going to be a long and tough season next term.
Rafa was asked what kind of potential does Newcastle United have and this is how he responded to that question last week:
“I could say it is massive, but we have to remember that we are in the Championship and I am not stupid,”
“We have to start thinking about what we want to do in the Championship to make sure that we can be in the Premier League.”
“I could say, ‘We are this’ or ‘We are that’, but that will not change anything.” “We are where we are, and we want to be sure that next year we will be where we belong.”
“But it has to be through hard work, being professionals and making the right decisions as much as we can.”
It will be massive event for a club like Burton Albion and their fans when we visit them next season and a certain world-class manager Rafa Benitez, who has won the Champions League and many other trophies in his career – is on the sidelines.
It will be a tough game for Newcastle and if our players think anything different – we could be in trouble.
That’s the truth and is an indication of how tough the Championship can be for us next season – we have to respect every single team that we play.
And then try to beat them.