Rafa Benitez is very pragmatic and he is not getting carried away by what could be a really great night at St. James’ Park and he is only concentrating on how his players can execute the game plan and put another 3 points on the board.
But that would be the first time in four games we have won – a first for the season – and the 3 points will get us promoted – also a first for the season.
Rafa Benitez after great win at Huddersfield
In fact Rafa has revealed what it would mean to get promoted tonight, but then stresses (as always) the players have a job to do and it will not be easy.
Here’s Rafa’s take on what tonight could be like as reported in the Chronicle today:
“It would be fantastic to go up and it would be amazing.” “But we have to be sure we win against Preston and everything goes well.”
“We still have a job to do.” “At the beginning of the season people asked me that question (what would winning the Championship mean to you?)
“In the middle of the season, they asked again.” “I was always very consistent with my answers.”
“If we go up I will be really pleased, it doesn’t matter if it is first or second.”
“What I have also seen is that teams in this division think: ‘Oh Newcastle United – it’s the most important game of the season!’”
“Then they run more than you’d expect them to.”
“I have watched videos of their other games and then they play against us and go faster and run more metres.”
“We are used to that.” “We must cope with it too.” “They were different games.” “We know them and it’s very difficult to beat them away.”
“At this stage of the season, it will be totally different.” “But what we have seen from them they are well organised and we know what they’ll do.”
“They have a clear idea how to play.” “They have done well and were close to the play-offs until the end.”
We did have our biggest home win of the season last year on October 25th when we hammered the Lilywhites 6-0 in the EFL Cup and then beat them 2-1 away a few days later – but that one was a close game.
They had Alan Browne sent off after 25 minutes at St. James’ Park and we were only 1-0 up at the time, so the result could have been closer if they had played with 11 men – maybe only 5-0?
Tonight could be an important date in Newcastle’s great history if we win.
And then we can thank Rafa Benitez and his players for getting what we all told was a very difficult job last summer.
Phase one of the Rafa Revolution would be completed – and successfully too.