Promotion Great Achievement – My Players Deserve Lots of Credit

If Newcastle don’t win another game this season and Huddersfield don’t win all their remaining games, then Newcastle will still be promoted.

That’s just how strong Newcastle’s position is right now after today’s games – 2 points out of the last three games will be enough  to gain promotion.

Or alternatively the next time Huddersfield don’t win.

Rafa Benitez meets Chris Hughton at Brighton in late February

Rafa thinks teams like Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday had a massive advantage over Newcastle at the beginning of the season.

He believes it’s because of past experience in the Championship and being in the playoffs last season.

Benitez was asked if the difference between Newcastle and Brighton was the experience Brighton have in this division when they finished in 3rd place last year with a goal difference just two short of Middlesbrough’s goal difference.


This is how the gaffer answered that question, as reported in the Chronicle.

“It’s a massive difference.” “The experience and also the money Brighton have spent in the past.” 

“I don’t want to talk about, ‘We have spent more money’, ‘They have spent more money’.”

“You see where Brighton are, you see where Sheffield Wednesday are with teams that have been there before.”

“Huddersfield have a team – I think they have seven Germans, so maybe the manager knows the players.”

“He bought the players he needed, they know the division because they have been there before, they are doing well.”

“Then they have nothing to lose, they have confidence and the momentum is there.”

“The other teams, teams with experience, teams with players who know the division – Leeds also have players who know the division – and it’s quite normal, and it’s very difficult.”

“For us to be there, to change the team and bring in a lot of new players and then put all of them together and do well, I think it’s a great achievement.”

“I will not talk about whether, ‘I deserve or not’; I am telling you that these players, they deserve a lot of credit.”

“They are doing really well.” “Yes for sure, I knew that Brighton would be up there.”

“When we played against Sheffield Wednesday, I was talking with the manager about the players that he had from the final of the play-offs from the year before.”

“All the teams that were at the top of the table in the past couple of seasons, for me, they were teams who could be there – clearly they could be there.”

“Then when you talk about 46 games; experience, it’s massive, it’s crucial.” “Consistency and experience are crucial for me, so these teams were teams that could be there.”

“Obviously, everybody was expecting Norwich or Aston Villa also to be there and the fact that they are not there proves that it’s very difficult, this division.”

The lads have done extremely well and hopefully we can get the win on Monday night against Preston to start off huge celebrations on Tyneside and all around the world for that matter.

Howay The Lads!!

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Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • Chancel My MBembaship

    Apr 23, 2017 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #1

    My nerves can’t truly settle until we’re mathematically promoted. This is football after all, anything can happen. Especially with Newcastle, I’ve learned not to expect things to be done the easy way. Tomorrow night can’t come soon enough!

  • TyneMouth

    Apr 23, 2017 at 1:16 AM

    Comment #2

    Although promotion isn’t carved in stone, we have more chance of overtaking Brighton than of Huddersfield catching us.
    The probability that neither event will happen is almost a certainty.
    Speculation regarding player recruitment for next season is still somewhat premature, not because our promotion isn’t mathematically certain, but when promoted which team format will Rafa favour?
    This season Rafa stayed with 4231 almost every game. I may be wrong, but there may have been one game he played with 3 at the back.
    On Saturday, the first FA cup semi final between the two best footballing teams, in this year’s EPL, played with 3 player back lines.
    It would appear that the new wave of Coaches/Managers favor this strategy, linked with attacking wing backs.
    If Rafa inclines to join this trend, he will have to identify players who would fit this format.
    This is what he did last summer, 4231 was the name of the game, and he retained players who could fit that format, and released those couldn’t /wouldn’t. He bought recruitments who fitted his strategy.
    A brave move, in a division he had never experienced.
    Next season will obviously be different, and it certain that the team format and game strategy will be designed to succeed in the EPL.
    When the tactics, format and strategy are decided, then the search for the appropriate players will start.

  • TyneMouth

    Apr 23, 2017 at 1:50 AM

    Comment #3

    Contrary to my last post, if a perceptive scout uncovered a new Alan Shearer, or a new Peter Beardsley, or could identify a gem of a player hidden in an unfashionable team like Andy Cole or Rob Lee, then you build a team to suit the new star.
    Just a thought, can you imagine that in a parallel world Rafa had a squad that included Shearer, Keegan, Beardsley, Cole and Ginola, with young Gazza chomping on the bench.
    Not to mention Sir Les….
    Enough, time for bed, ‘perchance to dream’…

  • cyprus

    Apr 23, 2017 at 2:51 AM

    Comment #4

    Not sure those little teams have a massive advantage, though I get the gist.

    Our squad is worth 5 times that of Huddersfield and 2.5 times Brighton. Minnows, comparatively.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 23, 2017 at 6:05 AM

    Comment #5

    Can’t get my head round why a certain group of fans on here like to point out the reasons why promotion was not so great an acheivement or that so and so deserve it more than us, nobody I speak to in the flesh dismisses what we are about to achieve. Statistics prove that relegated clubs rarely get automatically promoted first time round

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 23, 2017 at 6:20 AM

    Comment #6

    Anyone thinking that we will be buying a whole new team is off the mark as well, Rafa put together a team for promotion and to cement a place in the PL at the same time, don’t expect in player he signed with PL experience to be shown the door. I was thinking Mbemba was the CB going the journey, I’ve got a sneajy feeling it could be Lascelles now?

  • hibbit

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:18 AM

    Comment #7

    the stage is set for a massive party on monday night the geordie nation holds its breath…….. what could possibly go wrong
    well just about anything….. this is newcastle united after all

    good luck toon army !!!!!

  • Ron Knee

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #8


    “This is newcastle united after all …”


  • Tsunki

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:30 AM

    Comment #9

    Cyprus – sorry but I’ve no idea why anyone thinks publishing squad value as proof we should be where we are. How many teams had to unload so-called “stars” who didn’t want to be here in order to buy a championship squad off the peg? All the other teams we were threatened by have been building squads for years.

    Squad value means absolutely nothing out of context.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #10

    I doubt lascelles will go. I think Rafa is clever enough to work out why defenders lose position when you change the dynamic of the unit. He has been very good with Clark this year. Look at the stats ha ha

  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:34 AM

    Comment #11

    Erin Moran

  • yorkymag

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #12

    Monday is not for Rafa
    It’s not for the fans
    It’s not for the players
    It’s not for Ashley and his crew

    It’s for every single one of us that have turned up to st James in such massive numbers all season ,for those watching from a distance .for those who have invested in the club after mistakes ,for the players who have given so much and for a manager who could so easily have walked away
    It’s our personal time to celebrate ,not giving in and sticking with our team even when everyone around us just wanted us to fail
    Let’s enjoy the moment

  • Jib

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:44 AM

    Comment #13

    Team ethic and spirit plus players who are capable of understanding and playing in a system , are so much more important than buying other clubs “stars”.

    I simply don’t get this “FIFA manager” mentality of some posters on here who just reel off lists of random names.

    If you don’t get what Rafa is about , after those quotes from the Chronic , then there is no hope for you I’m afraid !

  • magscar

    Apr 23, 2017 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #14

    Hibbit RonKnee

    Too right. I’ve had too many disappointing? ends to seasons to start the celebrations just yet but it is looking good. Another performance like Leeds and even the same result (robbed though we were) then it is party time. Better Monday night than the next day if Huddersfield don’t win still mathematically? possible for them to catch us with a draw of course but it would take a collapse of beyond our foot shooting for that to happen.

    Looking at table if Huddersfield don’t get their heads straight could conceivably miss out on Playoffs! Some team is certainly going to be very disappointed and everyone is fancing Fulham to pinch a place off one of the 4 who have been in there for many weeks and Leeds are out of a place just now but Fulham have another tough game at Sheffield Wednesday? to come but who would bet against them. Momentum is certainly with them and whilst always important it is vital come playoff time. Currently i think probably going to come down to between Sheffield Wed and Fulham for the final promotion spot but depending on finishing spots they could meet in”semis”. As long as we aren’t in there i don’t really care


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