Benitez Continues Turning Newcastle Into Winners

Rafa Benitez has talked after the 2-1 win at home to Wigan on Saturday afternoon (phew!) about his players – and that they are not used to winning games.

That’s very true, because last season with the woeful Steve McClaren in charge for 28 of the 38 Premier League games, we won only 9 games and three of those were when Rafa Benitez was the manager.

So we were (sadly) relegated and while Rafa brought in 12 new players in the summer, they were not exactly top players who agreed to join a second division side.

Those we got from the Premier League generally came from clubs in the lower half of the table.

Rafa Benitez in training

But the 56 year-old Spanish manager still made some great signings last summer and he was well assisted by Managing Director Lee Charnley.

Of course Rafa will not take anything for granted – that’s not who this man is – but he has admitted our lads are starting to show the character of winners.

This is what he has said over the weekend as reported in the Northern Echo today:

“In the end we were relegated, so these players don’t have that experience of being at the top.”

“The players we’ve bought haven’t won trophies, so all the expectations here in front of the fans, we have been top all season more or less, it’s not easy.”

“People are saying these players have come from the Premier League – yes, but not from the top of the table, or ones winning the league.”

“These players were in the middle or the bottom of the table, so we had to create an attitude where they play with confidence and have a winning mentality.”

It was certainly tough for our lads on Saturday afternoon against Wigan – a side fighting against relegation, but it was still a fabulous result.

Fans were relieved to say the least, after we had taken only two points from our previous three games.

And now we have Burton Albion visiting on Wednesday night and that could be even more difficult.

The Brewers beat the Terriers 1-0 on their own ground on Saturday with the winning goal coming a full six minutes into stoppage time.

We need another win on Wednesday night – it’s really as simple as that.

Comments welcome.

2 comments so far

  • lochinvar

    Apr 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #1

    Looking ahead I just wonder if a new purpose built Training Centre is needed rather than Benton ?
    Top clubs have invested in new facilities that can include additional fitness and sports medical facilities that could be made available to the public as part of the wider need to encourage health and fitness for all.

    Always though that the Sporting Club of Newcastle had some merit alongside the Falcons and others.

    Top club, top manager , top fans, top ground, top city – so why not top as in World Class Training and Medical facilities – for once purpose built rather than reworking existing facilities could put Newcastle very clearly as a leader in excellence alongside our hospitals, medical research, Universities, business class companies and people.

    Come on Ashley let’s have some vision please

  • giimps

    Apr 3, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #2

    A winning mentality comes from…..winning, winning is because of a number of things, putting the best players in their favoured positions, making sure everyone knows what they are asked to do , having the players work hard in all phases of play and a little luck.
    The man charged with bringing this all about is Rafa, his work ethic has to be higher than any of the players (and almost certainly is) and the players must buy into his ideas.
    This season is the first season for a very long time where i go to the games and i can see a plan being unfolded in front of me, a plan that may not havebows and bangles adorning it but an effective one, a plan to maximise what we have at our disposal to last the full game…….so much so that (i believe) the only reason we dont win every game is either because of one of three things.
    1. A mistake by obe of our players
    2. One of our players not following the instructions properly
    3. The opposition having a wondergoal or superkeeper.
    Most games we create quite a few chances and restrict the opposition to a few shots from outside the box and we go on and win ,on the odd occasion this hasnt happened its becaus of the reasons above or (i should add a 4. Here)
    4.absolutely appaling decisions by the ref and linespeople.
    If we carry on this season and stick to the no nonsense plan we will go up as champions, if we have more mistakes/not following instructions or dodgy reffing i believe we will still go up as automatic .
    It may not be pretty at times and it may not get us off our seats this season but better that than still being in this league next season by trying to be gung ho.
    Next season i expect much of the same until we get a different level of player, the season after will be better as we will be building a squad of players capable of greater things, we have the manager to build that team and guide them, we just need an owner to buy into the dream…….over to you Mr Ashley, the time for speculating to accumulating is near at hand….HWTL, HWTF


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