When you have a manager who has won three European trophies in his career his standards are going to be very high.
And so it is with Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.
So even though we are now 9 points above 3rd placed Reading and that’s 10 points if you consider our much superior goal difference, Rafa isn’t taking about that – he’s talking about how his Newcastle side can improve and get better.
We love it.
Rafa Benitez – in training
This is what Rafa said after the game on Saturday about how tough it was at Burton Albion and then goes on about how the team can improve:
“We knew that it could be a difficult game because the pitch could not be in the best condition to play on the floor and have a lot of time.”
“Especially when the other team is so tight, so close and are pressing.”
“When you want to control and pass, sometimes you don’t have this chance.”
“We needed to adapt, and we did that more or less during the first half.”
“Especially we wanted to play behind them and we did it well in the first half.”
“In the second half, they were pushing and pushing, we made some mistakes giving the ball away, and we put ourselves under pressure.”
“But we showed this maturity, we showed this character that you need to show if you want to compete and win these kind of games.”
“We have learned a lot of things.”
“Normally the manager and the players need to know each other, to understand each other and the style of football.
“Between players, also you have players that have been playing in different countries so these things can take time.”
“We’re doing well, we can do things better, they will have to keep working hard if we want to improve.”
Newcastle are now on a very good 49 points after 22 league games played – and that’s exactly the same points that Chris Hughton had for Newcastle after the same number of games seven years ago, when last we were in the Championship.