The football pundits and so-called experts predicted that Newcastle would easily win the Championship this season, but that hasn’t happened.
It seems today that Rafa knew last summer it would be a very difficult season and that the lads would have to fight very hard if we were to be promoted back to the promised land – the Premier League.
Mohamed Diame has revealed today that Rafa predicted this season would be a battle last summer when he talked to the squad before the season even started.
Mo Diame in training
Of course if the players didn’t believe that then after the first two league games – we lost at Fulham and at home to Huddersfield to kick off the season – would have only reinforced Rafa’s words.
This is what Mo Diame has said as reported in the Chronicle today:
“Everyone when they play Newcastle they want to play well and show their best football.”
“We need to work harder to make sure we win. But the team is still focused we know what we have to do to win.”
“We must fight together, be compact and everything will work.” “We will have to work hard for every ball.”
“But what we need to do is to make sure that we play more like we know we can and score more than the other team.”
“This is what this league asks. We do not have a choice. We have to be ready.”
“When we started the season the manager had a meeting with us and told us all that we would not be able to play football every week and win easily.”
“He said this would be hard. We knew it would be a battle.”
“It is difficult every single game. Tackles, you need to be ready to receive them and pick yourself off the ground and go again.” “We have to do that to the very end.”
“We focus on ourselves but we want to win this league.” “So of course we look at what happens with Brighton.”
“But we need to stay focused on ourselves first.” “We know if we do our job everything will work out for us.”
Mo has been coming into some good form of late and he has 5 goals in 28 appearances for us this season.
With striker Dwight Gayle out for about four weeks we hope Diame can supply some goals to fill the vacuum caused by Gayle’s absence.
We cannot complain with the way our players have applied themselves this season and they always give 100% and have also shown significant mental strength when things have become tough during games.
That’s almost the polar opposite of what happened last season under Steve McClaren.
But it’s something that a world-class manager demands of his players and they all know if they don’t give 100% and don’t react in the right way when things get tough, they will not stay in the team.
Rafa has done an excellent job for Newcastle both on and off the field this season, but it’s still been a tough season and promotion is still not a given even now.
We hope we can get promoted and that means we must beat Bristol City on Saturday – that’s the only thing that really matters right now.