Jack Colback has been interviewed today and he says he wants some strong characters at Newcastle for next season, to help with the promotion drive out of what Jack calls a tough league.
We had far too many players last season who didn’t want to know once the going got tough in games and we cannot have that in the coming season in England’s second tier.
We need some leaders at the club who know what to do when things get tough and can spur on their team-mates.
Jack Colback and Rafa Benitez during 3-0 win against Swansea
To a large extent that weakness on the field was fixed by Rafa Benitez and in those final six games when we got 12 points there were not too many players went missing in those games.
Rafa had already made it very clear that if you were not willing to fight then you simply didn’t get in the team and various players including high-priced Gini Wijnaldum and Jonjo Shelvey were dropped to the bench.
This is what Jack has said today:
“We need to keep hold of the right players and sign the right players,” “There are a lot of games and we need a strong squad with good players who are up for the challenge.”
“We’ll need players who can properly help the team now, not a few years down the line,” “It’s a tough league and you need a strong group of characters in order to get promoted.”
The last time we were relegated we did have some leaders in the team like Nicky Butt, Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Alan Smith and Steve Harper.
We don’t think that’s going to be a problem in the coming season because in pre-season Rafa is going to keep drumming it into the players they have to fight in every single game in the tough 46 game season.
Any player who is not willing to do that will not play.
And Rafa is trying to bring some experience into the squad over the summer and some older players will likely be signed.
Note: I’ll be traveling to Kingston, NY today and will be back on line later this afternoon.