Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow had a good first season at Newcastle after a shaky start at West Brom.
That was after Rob Elliot had taken sick during the warm-up, but Karl came in and played the final eight games of the season when Rob was injured – and he played very well in the Newcastle goal under new manager Rafa Benitez.
Karl has been interviewed on the Newcastle web-site today and he talks about how much the players wanted Rafa Benitez to stay at the club, after he had turned things around in those final six games of the season, although we were still relegated.
Karl Darlow and Rafa Benitez
After the 1-0 Palace win at home when Karl saved a penalty
This is what Karl has said today:
“The fans showed how much they wanted Rafa here and myself and the rest of the team were no different.”
“You can see from what he’s achieved in his career that he is a top class manager and he’s proved that in the short time he’s been here at Newcastle.”
“Since he came in we looked a lot more solid, he got his ideas across very clearly and it showed on the pitch.”
“We ended the season strongly which is encouraging but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”
“We played some great football at times and I know the players were desperate for Rafa to stay, so we were all delighted when it was agreed.”
Rafa is expected to bring in between five and six new players this summer and let one or two players leave – but exactly who those players will be – it’s not clear at the moment.
Two players, Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko, are pushing for moves away from the club to spare themselves the indignity of playing in England’s second division.
We didn’t win many games last season – only 9 to be exact – and three of them were in the final six games when we were unbeaten and picked up 12 points.
Last time we were in the Championship we won 30 league games under Chris Hughton, so it would be good if we could get near to that in the coming season.
But things can only get better from now on – we’re sure of that – with Rafa in charge of all football matters.