Rafa Benitez Praise For The Comeback Kid

It really is the story of the season so far and we were really pleased when the transfer deadline came and a Frenchman called Yoan Gouffran was still a Newcastle United player.

He has not had a particularly good time of it in his three and a half years at Newcastle, but he’s been born again under Rafa Benitez who has managed to get him playing his best football at Newcastle and maybe some of the best football in his career.

Newcastle fans certainly love a player who gives his all in every single game and never gives up – and we have that player in the 30 year-old former French U-21 International.

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Yoan Gouffran after scoring terrific first goal

This is what Rafa said about Yoan first and then about all our players who are really starting to produce some excellent and professional displays:

“Gouffran is working hard and he’s so professional.” “He scored a great goal, so if he can carry on doing that I will be pleased. The good thing is you can see that even the players who aren’t playing are focused.”

“You can see the commitment in the training sessions and you can see everybody trying. That has to be the way.”

“Maybe the players who weren’t involved in the past can now be a big part in the success. It’s a very good message to the rest of the squad.”

“We had more control in the first half and scored the goal.” “Everything was easier, when I say easier I mean we knew what we had to do.” “In the second half they were pushing and pushing.”

“We needed a second goal to finish it and then to enjoy.” “It’s been a tough day against a tough team and the main thing for me has been to see us working as a team from the strikers to the keeper.”

“And also the players who came on from the bench.” “That is for me the most important thing for the future.”

Newcastle are now starting to look like the team we were hoping for – a team who goes into every game trying to win – and wins most of them.

After two defeats to start the season we now have 12 points from first six games with the best goal difference (+6) in the division.

If we can keep up that average of 2 points per game we should be on 92 points at the end of the season and likely be in an automatic promotion place.

Here’s hoping.

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