One of Rafa Benitez’ really good qualities is that he does not underestimate any side and he is very professional and positive as he approaches every single game.
Rafa talks about the strength of the opposition and one of his real challenges this year is to prepare the Newcastle team for a game we are expected to win.
Such a game is today at Burton Albion and if Burton should win it will make big headlines.
Nigel Clough – Burton manager
But such is the competition in the Championship that we have already been beaten five times in the league this season and have had some shock results including losing three times at home to Huddersfield, Wolves and Blackburn.
We seem to be better way from home this season which is a huge contrast to last season.
Rafa knows all about Nigel Clough and his father Brian who won the European Cup (Now the Champions League) with Nottingham Forest two years in a row back in 1979 and 1980.
This is what Rafa Benitez has said in the Chronicle today about Nigel Clough:
“When you have a manager who had somebody who had so much knowledge, you can learn something.”
“He’s doing a good job. I think it’s a team with the resources they have they’re doing well.”
“I have said this before but the teams at the bottom of the table are very competitive.”
“They do well and they can win at home against anybody. You have to give credit to Nigel Clough and to them. We will try to do our best.”
“We know this is a league game and it’s an important game for them and us.” “We have seen a lot of videos and clips, so we know that it’s going to be tough to play them away.”
“The atmosphere will be like a cup game and that’s positive for them but I expect our fans to be noisy and support the team.”
“It’s a league game and we’re trying to get three points, we know it’ll be difficult.”
“I don’t exactly know the size of the ground.
“But I remember looking at the size of all the pitches, and it’s not a massive difference.
“It’s more about the feeling that the fans are closer to you.” “For a professional player that has to be a challenge.”
“But the posts are always the same size!”
“The only thing you can do is change the size of the pitch slightly. The rest is 11 v 11, it has to be a challenge for us to play in this type of atmosphere.”
“You have to be sure you can compete in these games and do well.”
One of the things that may help us today is that Burton will attack us looking for the 3 points and we may be able to catch them on the break.
That’s one reason we think the full-backs will be DeAndre Yedlin and Achraf Lazaar since they are good attacking full-backs.