Rafa Benitez is meticulous in his preparation for games and since he doesn’t know too much about the Championship clubs, he has been trying to fix that by finding out as much as he can about the teams this summer.
In addition to that throughout the season Rafa will have people at the Championship games reporting back to him on the strengths and weaknesses of the teams in the Championship, as Newcastle build a dossier on each of those teams.
That’s all part of Rafa trying to ensure Newcastle will spend only one season down below.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager – we must be ready
Newcastle have the finances to spend one season in the Championship but not two – so it’s imperative we are promoted next May.
But Rafa also said yesterday that it’s how the Newcastle players approach the games that’s the most important thing and he will be working on the Newcastle players to turn their mindsets into those of winners after two seasons of being losers – sometimes big losers.
As in the eight game losing streak we suffered under John Carver the season before last – and we followed that by losing five of the first eight games last season under Steve McClaren and didn’t get our first win until the ninth game.
This is what Rafa has said today:
“When you are a top side you know they will do their best against you.”
“I have been with a smaller side with Extremadura in Spain. We were at the bottom of the league and we had to approach every game like a cup final and didn’t have too many options.”
“Now it will be the opposite.” “They will see Newcastle are coming in from the Premier League so they will try their best against us.”
“We know it will be like this and we will have to be ready.”
“We have to approach the new season with the same intensity, same passion and the same commitment in the last few games of last season.”
“The hard work is just starting.”
At the end of season 2013-2014 we lost seven of the last eight games and in the next season we lost nine of our last eleven games.
Last season Rafa changed that and although we were relegated we won three and drew three of the last six games so we have some momentum going into next season.
We must get off to a good start and these are the first two months of games and at the end of these we’ll have a decent idea of how we can do next season.
August Fri 05 19:45 A Fulham Sat 13 15:00 H Huddersfield Wed 17 19:45 H Reading Sat 20 15:00 A Bristol City Sat 27 15:00 H Brighton September Sat 10 15:00 A Derby County Tue 13 19:45 A QPR Sat 17 15:00 H Wolves Sat 24 15:00 A Aston Villa Wed 28 19:45 H Norwich City
September looks a tough month for us.