At yesterday’s press conference and in his other interviews yesterday Rafa Benitez was very upbeat and even jovial at times, following the worrying stories yesterday morning that he was possibly leaving Newcastle United in the summer.
Rafa is a savvy guy and he refused to say what would happen in the summer, as he wants everybody to concentrate their energy on getting Newcastle United promoted soon.
In the final 18 games of the season he wants to win as many games as possible to not only secure promotion but to win the Championship.
Rafa Benitez – confident of promotion
Here’s some of what he said yesterday as reported in the Northern Echo and he has said he gets on well with manager Steve McClaren and he doesn’t want the fans to concentrate on Steve’s presence this afternoon:
“It’s important to understand that everyone can express their feelings like they want to, but concentrating on supporting the team is the main thing.”
“I tell the players, fighting on the pitch will change nothing, what you have to do is score goals.” “Hopefully the fans will concentrate on supporting the team and that will be the best news for us.”
“I had contact with Steve when he left.” “I sent him a message, and got one back from him, I know he had a difficult situation here.”
“I have a very good relationship with him, we’re not close friends because I do not see him often enough, but we’ll have a drink afterwards.”
“We are in a fantastic position,” “I have confidence we can not just earn promotion but also win the title.”
“If you look at the other teams in the Championship, you don’t see too many better than us.”
More good words there from Rafa who showed what a great leader he is in his meetings with the press yesterday.
One very good thing that has happened is the stories of Rafa possibly leaving the club have galvanized the fans around fully supporting Rafa and the players.
There will be another full house at St. James’ Park today and we can expect Rafa chants to be in full vogue.
And his calls for unity from everybody associated with the club from the owner down will only help Newcastle’s drive for promotion.
But we need to start winning games and that’s what we have to do this afternoon.
If we cannot beat Steve McClaren’s Derby County today that would be hard to take again, after we threw away 2 points on Wednesday night against QPR with a last minute own goal.