Rafa showed he was in command of things yesterday at his press conference and it was a great example of how to defuse a potential very bad situation that could get out of control in the press.
And if we are not careful it can derail our promotion push – we cannot have any internal fighting – it does us no good at all.
And we have to remember it’s not a foregone conclusion that we will be promoted this season and certainly if we are not, Rafa will not be staying at Newcastle.
That’s how important it is to get promoted this season.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
Rafa concentrated in yesterday’s press conference on defusing the situation and that he would not talk about what may happen in the summer in other interviews he gave.
Most journalists took that as if he will have it out with Ashley about transfers then – and therefore he could still walk out.
But there’s another less sensational and more innocent interpretation of that, which shows his complete professionalism and single-minded approach.
In the same way in a press conference, Rafa always refuses to talk about any future game but the next one – he was also making the point that we all have to concentrate on this season, all pull together, all work together for promotion this season.
That’s the only thing that matters to the club right now.
Anything in the summer is therefore completely irrelevant right now – as we said it was another sign of Rafa’s single-minded approach to things.
So these are some of the things he said yesterday when he simply wants everybody to focus on getting promoted – everybody associated with Newcastle – Mike Ashley, the Managing Director, manager, fans young and old, players, journalists – and even blog writers.
“This club has made mistakes in the past.” “We can’t make them again.” “Fans want promotion, the club can’t make the same mistakes again.”
“I am talking about everyone making mistakes.” “If we want to be stronger, we have to stick together – fans, club, everyone.”
“I focus on the next game, rest of season and to get promoted. We can’t blame each other now.”
“We’ve had some bad games, but we are strong enough to compete, to win and to go up.”
“He’s not here. I was pleased with him last year. He can’t help now.”
The statement about “we can’t blame each now” is again an attempt to get everybody pushing in the same direction and not fighting each other.
Notice in that last line he didn’t even want to talk about Townsend because he’s not here through the end of the season so he can’t help us – Rafa again being very pragmatic.
That’s the best and probably most accurate interpretation of everything he talked about yesterday – getting everybody and everything behind Newcastle for our promotion push.
Sounds good to us.
We need to beat Derby today.