Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and his Spanish coaches – fitness coach Francisco de Miguel Moreno and first-team coaches Mikel Anita and Antonio Gomez Perez – took time off last Tuesday to visit some of the local landmarks.
It turns out they visited the Keep, the Angel of the North, Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle and Durham University.
Rafa does this at the clubs he manages so he can get a better understanding of the region and the people who are supporting the clubs he manages.
Rafa Benitez greeted by a fan at the “Old Castle”
Rafa has very quickly become attached to Newcastle United in the very short seven months he’s been at the club and at the moment everything this season is going as well as could be expected.
We are 5 points clear at the top of the league, we are in the quarter finals of the League Cup and Newcastle have won our last 9 games – winning every game since the 1-1 draw at Villa Park on September 24th.
Rafa has been interviewed in the Chronicle today and explained why he visits landmarks at the places he manages:
“If you go and you see these things, you can see the passion of the fans.” “I like to go around places if I have some time.”
“If I cannot do it any more over the next few months, that will be positive because it means that we will have played two games a week and we are progressing in the cups.”
“But if I have some free time then I like to go and see what is going on.”
“In Madrid it was easy, but in Liverpool too I went round and the same at Napoli. I go around and try to see things that otherwise I would not have the opportunity to see.”
“I think it’s important to understand why the people are so proud of the city and the area.” “If you go there and you see these things, then you understand why.”
“If you go to a cathedral, and they tell you it takes three or four hundred years to build, it’s amazing, particularly with the technology they had before.”
“You see the roles and everything. It is so difficult for us to understand that.” “We have to be proud of that.”
“When you go to these places and they explain to you in the way they explain about them to you, I think it’s a great opportunity.”
“Everything was quite positive and the people were really good, really polite.”
“The explanations were really good and sometimes you get to understand the history because they explain to you little things.”
“I was really pleased. “Everything that you could see and the people around, it was a really good day.”
Here’s how we stand before we take on Blackburn Rovers at home this afternoon, where a win would see a new record set of 10 consecutive wins at the club.