Rafa Benitez coaches for the long term and he does not over-react to anything, including at the beginning of the season when we surprisingly lost the first two games after pundits had said we would simply walk away with the Championship.
After having had three terrible seasons and finally been relegated in May, a number of Newcastle fans were a little distraught after those two defeats.
Rafa Benitez – steady as she goes
But they have been followed by four successive wins and the team has started to look like a very decent side.
Rafa has talked a little about his philosophy of football and he is still confident we can be at the top at the end of the season and achieve our goal of promotion straight back to the Premier League.
Here’s some of what Rafa has said:
“I have confidence we will be at the top at the end of the season but I don’t approach each game as if it’s the end of the world if we lost.”
“Even after losing the first two games I kept that belief and now that we’ve won three in a row I’m not thinking ‘we’re already promoted’.”
“We have to be sure that we keep a level head.” “We have to be clever.”
“We have to approach every game with the confidence that we can win and beat anyone and do well, but at the same time we have to have respect for the other teams.”
“There are a lot of good teams in this division with good players and you can lose games, so the main thing for me is to see us progressing and then to see where we are at the end of the season.”
“For me, the main issue is to have a team who are playing well and sometimes it is to play long balls, sometimes counter attacks, sometimes just to defend well.”
“It’s too early to draw any conclusions yet.” “For example, Derby aren’t doing well at the moment but for me they will be up at the top.”
“Huddersfield are doing well Fulham is doing well but it’s still too early.” “We have to wait until maybe another month.”
“We have to play against the top sides and there will be more games, so it will be interesting to see at the end of September.”
So it seems like Rafa is working on the minds of the players he has put together to have a winning mentality and you can win games in many different ways.
We won at Bristol by going ahead and doing a Chelsea under Jose Mourinho by inviting Bristol City to try to score against us and they couldn’t so we won with a classic 1-0 scoreline.
Against Brighton at home we attacked and got 2-0 up and controlled the game, to win rather easily in the end.
Rafa does not over-react to winning or losing and he probably has already seen that’s what most Newcastle fans do.
If we win then everything is great and if we lose it’s more than a real concern.
We’ll have to see how we do in the next seven games with six of them being league games, before we enter the International break after our game at Rotherham on October 1st.
We should know by then just how decent a team we have.
Here’s hoping it’s a (very) good one.
But until then it seems Rafa is working on the minds of his players to make them winners and he seems to be working on the minds of the fans too.