During his press conference today for the game at Brentford tomorrow, Rafa Benitez said he has done his homework and looked back on about the last thirteen seasons and it was unusual for the relegated sides to get straight back to the Premier League although we did that seven years ago.
Last season Hull City and Burnley got straight back up after being relegated in the previous season, but Rafa has pointed out that is not the norm.
Rafa Benitez with DeAndre Yedlin in training
This is what Rafa said in his press conference today for the game at Brentford tomorrow:
“I have done my research. Of the teams relegated in the last years, in 2012/2013 nobody came up, in 2013/2014 there was one – in the play-offs.”
“After that there was another one – in the play-offs, and last year there were two – one in the play-offs again.”
“So, as you can see, it is not easy.” “If you have one or two weeks where you are not doing well, you can lose three games.”
“As we saw last night, with Reading and Queens Park Rangers, anything can happen.” (QPR won 1-0 away at Reading).
“The competition is so difficult. It is important to stay calm, focus, and make sure we are strong during the whole season – especially at the end, when you have so many games.”
“Obviously, we are working hard to try and find the right players for us in January.” “We have brought Sammy Ameobi and Jamie Sterry back, who were doing well.”
“We have fewer players because of the Africa Cup of Nations, so we will continue working.”
“Cheick Tiote has had a lot of clubs asking for him. Now, there are two or three who are really interested. We will see if we can find the best solution for him, for us and for everyone.”
“We have to fight until the last month.”
Newcastle are without three players who are at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon – Christian Atsu, Mohamed Diame and Chancel Mbemba – with that tournament finally getting underway tomorrow.
So it looks like Rafa will keep Sammy Ameobi and Jamie Sterry for the rest of the season at Newcastle as part of the first team squad.
There is also a chance that Cheick Tiote could be leaving the club this month – finally – with Rafa saying there are three clubs interested in signing the 30 year-old midfielder.