Rafa Benitez in his press conference and other interviews he gave yesterday has talked about just how strong the Championship is these days and he said it is one of the strongest leagues in the world.
It’s certainly one of the toughest and because of the 46 games played teams are very often paying two games a week.
Rafa Benitez at his press conference
Since September 10th we are in the middle of playing 7 games (one cup game included) in just 22 days before the next two week break comes around after next weekend’s games – when we can catch our breath just a little bit.
The next two games are crucial against Aston Villa and Norwich and last season in the 12 points played for with these teams we won only one game and drew two.
We beat Norwich 6-2 at home but lost 3-2 away and we drew 1-1 at St. James’ Park and then 0-0 at Villa Park against Aston Villa.
Rafa Benitez was asked yesterday just how important the two upcoming games were against the teams relegated with us in May:
“It’s important because at the moment we are close to Norwich. “
“There is a little bit of distance between us and Aston Villa but if we can do well, we’ll be higher and Villa will be deep in the table.”
“There’s still a lot of games to play and the level of the teams is really good.” “I still say if we win, fine, if we can’t win we’ve got to keep pushing and working hard.”
“We have to try to do things in the same way.” “I have the confidence that the team will improve and be better.”
“At the end of the season, I think we’ll be where we want to be.”
“It will take some time, though because it’s not an easy competition.”
Rafa seems to be trying to educate the Geordie fans that we are not going to win every single game (damn!), but if do lose a game it’s not a disaster (really?) – and the lads will continue to improve and learn from each and every game – whether it’s a win or a loss.
But after four years of some terrible performances from the Newcastle team, especially over the last 18 months or so under the pitiful John Carver and Steve McClaren when we made losing a fine art – Newcastle fans are still nervous.
Maybe a win today can help calm the nerves a bit?