Rafa Benitez has instilled a toughness and mental strength in the Newcastle side this season that means the lads never give up in any game and they are always trying to win it – whatever the score is.
A great example of that was the home game against Norwich last year when we were 3-2 down going into stoppage time and 3-2 down after four minutes of stoppage time.
But we scored two dramatic goals in the following two minutes to get a very famous 4-3 win against a top side in the division.
A rather stern looking Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
And last week we went very close to winning at Carrow Road late in the game.
None of that kind of thing happened last season and Rafa has used a number of the players from last season’s squad – they just have a different outlook on the game under Rafa.
It’s a really tough four games coming up starting on Saturday against Bristol City and lasting a short 11 days – four tough games in 11 days!
This is what Rafa has said today about what’s needed from his team for the rest of the season – as reported in the Chronicle today:
“When you play two games a week it can be physical.”
“That is the problem with the Championship and it’s different.” “We have to cope with that.”
“We have players with experience and the right mentality to approach these kind of games. I think we are doing well.”
“At the beginning we lost two games in a row but still the team reacted. I think that is the way to do it.”
“We have enough quality and experience to do well and I am sure they will do it.” “The most important thing is to be strong every game.”
“We have to concentrate and be strong enough to get three points in every single game.”
“We have gone away and played well against good teams. I have confidence we can still do that.”
By a week on Tuesday night we will know what our chances of automatic promotion look like, after we have played Bristol City, Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading by then.
The first thing we have to do is beat Bristol City at home on Saturday afternoon.