Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has just named his side for the second last game of the Championship season at Cardiff City tonight, after the lads magnificently gained an automatic promotion spot on Monday night by easily defeating Preston North End 4-1 on a memorable night at St. James’ Park.
That’s only the second time any club has been relegated and come straight backup in an automatic promotion spot in the last six years.
That’s some achievement, but we don’t think Rafa will get the credit he deserves for what he’s done for the club – not that it will bother the Spanish manager one little bit.
Rafa has made several changes for tonight’s game due to slight injuries to various of our players.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 28, 2017
One surprise is the introduction Jack Colback for Jonjo Shelvey in central midfield – that was completely unexpected.
And in comes Chancel Mbemba to partner Ciaran Clark in central defense and the wingers are Christian Atsu and Ayoze Perez with Mo Diame getting a start in the number 10 position.
As expected Daryl Murphy starts up front and we hope the big Irishman can score another goal for us tonight.
American DeAndre Yedlin is back in at right back for Vurnon Anita and a rare appearance for Achraf Lazaar on the bench.
Newcastle can set a club record for the most away wins in a season tonight and that would be great – and it would be the second record f0r Rafa this season – his first full season as the Newcastle United manager.
That’s after he went 9 successive wins to equal the existing record, before we surprising lost at home to Blackburn Rovers last year.
We are proud of what Newcastle have achieved this season in what is a very difficult and tough league and it’s not easy to get out of the league at the very first attempt.
Aston Villa and Norwich City have proved that this season, with the other two relegated clubs last season not even making the playoffs for the third promotion spot.
This is what Rafa said yesterday about tonight’s game:
“If we win our games and Brighton make mistakes, we will be champions. We will try to do it.”
“Cardiff are very competitive. It will be a difficult game.”
“We will challenge Brighton and see what happens. We have two games, and we have to do our best.”
Howay The Bonnie Lads!!