It helps to understand Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez if you know he is two things – first of all he’s a perfectionist and then he’s a workaholic.
And since it takes a lot of work to become perfect in anything – then the two traits go well together.
Even when we win a game 6-0 and we’ve done that twice this season, in his interviews after the game he talks about areas of the team that can still get better, but the bottom line is he only wants the team and the players to improve.
He sees that as his job.
Rafa Benitez – enjoys coaching the payers
And in his interview with the Chronicle today, before the massive game at Elland Road this afternoon, that particular message comes across loud and clear.
Like any good coach, he wants to improve every single player in his squad and the evidence is that he is doing that this season.
This is some of what Rafa has said:
“The main thing is that I have to improve my team; and I can see my team improving.”
“There is no guarantee that you will win any game – this one or that one – but I can tell you that I was watching the drills we were doing in training, we were doing really well and the team is keeping improving.”
“We are at the top of the table, we are doing well, but still we can improve – that is my feeling.”
“There is room for improvement because in some of the training sessions we are really, really good.”
“I want to be more consistent in that, because then we will be more consistent in the games.”
“I am enjoying it this season almost every day. Why? Because I was not happy those days when we lost, but I have enjoyed almost every day because I like to learn.”
“I like to pass on my message, we have a great staff, we are developing the players.”
With Huddersfield and Norwich both being beaten yesterday afternoon, it’s shaken up the top of the Championship a bit.
Another win today against Leeds United could see us go 5 points clear of Brighton at the top of the table and 9 points above 3rd placed Reading.
We need to win this game.