Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal has made some good comments in the build up to the tough game we have in Monday night at home to the Owls – the beaten Championship play-off finalists last May.
Carlos has said it took courage for Rafa Benitez to stay at Newcastle after we were relegated in May and he accepted the challenge that is Newcastle United.
Rafa has never received the plaudits he deserved for staying on at Newcastle, when 9 managers out of 10 would have been on their way through the back door to some other club – once he couldn’t save us.
Rafa Benitez – manager of Newcastle United
But a bond had already formed between the manager and the fans and it’s apparent today with Geordie fans filling St. Jame’s Park to its 52,000 capacity as witness of their support of the world-class manager.
51-year-old Carvalhal obviously is a fan of Rafa’s as he had this to say today about the Spanish manager:
“He stayed there with courage and that is something I appreciate because even though he is a coach with a big CV, he accepted the challenge there.”
“I like that kind of profile, people who like the challenge.” “He is doing well. It is unbelievable how Newcastle were relegated, it was a surprise.”
“They have a lot of good players, they have a big advantage and have the money to buy some of the best players in the Championship.”
“But it is not a question of money, if they are in first place it is because they fight, play football and score goals – they deserve to be there.”
“I am missing five or six, and they are key players for me. It is not my problem (Jonjo Shelvey), it is the problem of Newcastle United.”
“But Newcastle United is a massive club, fantastic stadium, fantastic supporters with very good players and a very good coach.”
“They are very very strong, but we can go and fight for three points. We believe we can win points.”
Benitez has done a very good job so far this season with Newcastle top of the Championship with 49 points from 22 games and 16 wins in those league games.
We are 10 points clear of third placed Reading if goal difference is taken into account.
But we need to keep winning games if we are to br promoted in May and that includes getting 3 points against the a very good Owls side on Monday night.