Benitez On Ambitions, Goals And Challenges At Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is the most celebrated manager who has graced the England second division – the Championship – in decades and the officials running the league must be delighted with the way he has respected the league and the teams in it during the run-up to the season.

Rafa is no fool and he knows it will be a tough and difficult season for us and this stuff about walking away with the league could be very fanciful unless everybody at the club keeps their feet firmly on the ground and we have to respect every team we play.


Rafa Benitez – has no illusions

Rafa is in big demand for interviews before the Championship kicks off tonight at Fulham and the famous Craven Cottage ground in Newcastle’s first Championship fixture for over six years.

Rafa has been interviewed by the English Football league (EFL) and this is what he had to say:

“It will be very different to what I’ve experienced recently, but it’s a challenge,”

“I wanted to stay here, to be close to the family and be in the UK.”  “Newcastle United are a big side and it’s a great opportunity. The club is a sleeping giant, as they say.”

“The biggest target for us is to get promoted. It’s our aim to go up and we have to do everything perfectly, because it’s a division where the other teams are all working very hard and have talent of their own.”

“They also know the Championship a lot better than we do.”  “So it’s about getting it perfect, and making sure we go up at the end of the season.”

“The position in pre-season has been trying to get to know the players, the staff and everyone connected with the club.” 

“It’s the same for the players – to get to know each other. After they’ve done this, then they can play a lot better together and win games. The main thing has been to stay together and familiarise ourselves.”

“We’ve got a good squad with a few young players who have got great potential.”  “Adam Armstrong has been training with us this summer after scoring a lot of goals away on loan last season.”

“Rolando Aarons is another exciting player in our squad. Hopefully they can have good seasons and contribute to the team.”

The squad seems very strong and it’s still not known if Rafa will keep Adam Armstrong on Tyneside this season or send him out on loan.

Rafa has said he wants three more players brought in but it will depend on whether players like Moussa Sissoko and Cheick Tiote leave the club before September rolls around.

It will be a tought game at Craven Cottage tonight but three in four fans think we can win the game.

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We’ll know soon enough.

Comments welcome.

7 comments so far

  • Jib

    Aug 5, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #1

    Squeaky bum time

  • Spoof

    Aug 5, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #3


    I’ve been a nervous wreck for three weeks now, I wish it was now May and we are celebrating without having the years knocked off our life span due to worry.

  • G

    Aug 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #4

    @2, agreed, I posted that on the last thread. Summarises the club very well.

  • Legolas

    Aug 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #5

    Match day today. Not a better a feeling. I have been waiting for this all summer. Let’s put the mistake of last season behind us and get behind the team and the players. HWTL.


    That’s the team I would go with.

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 5, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #6

    WBA to be sold to the Chinese.

  • Ian Toon

    Aug 5, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #7

    Managing a relegation side and turning things around is a different job entirely to tweaking a once dominant side and getting them to return to their former glories. This is what Benitez and Mourinho are faced with this season. We are poles apart and we’ve got to start from way down the pile. Be of good cheer though Rafa has cast a spell on Mike Ashley and he now sees us as a football club

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves- I am filled with optimism for the season ahead but the counselling wisdom is undoubtedly with the likes of BandB and Tequila. I saw the Southend friendly but a good performance in a friendly counts for little! The start of the Championship season feels very much like entering into the unknown. In many ways it personally reminds me of the feeling when first doing exams. That brief moment before you look at the exam paper. In any event tonight could well be the start of something special with this being just the beginning.

    Altered perceptions have restored hope. Benitez has given us that hope something that’s been lacking for more than a decade. The air of expectation going forward though is the real danger and with it complacency. It’s a long season and Brighton showed the pitfalls ahead ; from looking like they were going to walk the league.


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