We started this season in the worst possible way imaginable, when we lost 1-0 at Fulham and followed that up with a 2-1 defeat at home to Huddersfield in our first home game.
That was even worse than how we started last season under the woeful Steve McClaren – at least we got a point at home to Southampton in our first game.
And when we were promoted in the 2009-2010 season we didn’t lose a game at home.
Rafa Benitez and Simon Grayson shake hands Saturday at Deepdale
So it was a fairly inconspicuous start from Newcastle – who at the time were red-hot favorites to get promoted and also red-hot favorites to win the Championship.
Fast forward 16 games and we have won 14 of them and drawn one and we are now top of the Championship and have won all of our last 7 games – six of those in the league.
Not too bad.
And manager Rafa Benitez is pleased the way the lads have dug in and managed to get 14 wins in our first 18 games in all competitions this season, including 11 wins in our first 15 league games.
We have won all six games in October and this is what Rafa has said about our start to the season following the 2-1 win at Deepdale on Saturday:
“It’s not easy when you start in a new division and it’s so difficult and everyone is expecting that you will make the difference in every game.”
“Then you start by losing the first two games.”
“The team is showing what it can do through the rest of this season though and we are doing well now.”
“It’s great to see the team playing with the confidence they have at the moment.”
“It pleases me a lot because we need to be consistent if we want to do well and stay at the top of the table, which is our goal.”
Rafa is not one to get too high about anything or get too low about anything either, so it pleases me a lot is near as good as it gets.
But to be fair the manager also wants to show steadiness and calmness, which will pass on to his players as he wants them to just keep winning – whoever the opposition is – good, bad or indifferent.
That seems like a very good strategy to us – and take one game at a time – it’s easier that way.
We’ve done extremely well so far this season – now we have to keep it up or even get better?
Howay The Lads!!