Rafa Benitez On What He’s Learning About The Championship

When we were relegated in May the pundits and the experts said the Championship is a lot tougher now than it was seven years ago when we were last down in England’s second division and Newcastle would therefore find it a lot tougher.

You know – the usual stuff.

It’s not clear whether the teams are better than seven years ago, but the league as a whole seems to be a lot more competitive and it’s true that every team can give us a good game.

We just have to think of the difficulty we had when we won 1-0 at the New York Stadium against bottom club Rotherham United to realize that.


Rafa Benitez at the KCOM Stadium on Tuesday night

And of course we were beaten at home by 3rd bottom Blackburn Rovers last Saturday in what was the first of two successive defeats.

It was a shocker and too much like the 2-0 defeat by Wolves – and it would be good if the lads could stop losing at St. James’ Park in front of a sold-out crowd.

That was a gut-wrenching loss for the fans – very hard to take – and we’ll leave it at that.

Rafa Benitez found out as much as he could in the summer about the league as he went about completely overhauling the Newcastle squad.

Rafa has been talking in the local papers and this is what he has said in the Chronicle:

“I have spoken to managers after games and they all say the same.” “When you expect an easy game you get a difficult one.”

“Then when you expect a difficult one sometimes it’s easier.” “It changes every week and every game because you have two games a week.”

“The style of football changes and who you play against. When so many things change you have to be ready.”

With that logic we are expecting a tough game tonight at Nottingham Forest so perhaps it will not be so difficult?

One this is certain – we must start winning games again and keep at the top of the table if we are to secure promotion this season – we cannot have any big slumps in our results.

Two defeats in a row is enough and now we just have to get all 3 points tonight at the City Ground – nothing else will be good enough.

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