Rafa Benitez does an excellent job of keeping everybody’s feet on the ground – players and fans alike.
But he also knows this could be a much better season than anybody expected after our seemingly miserable business in the summer transfer market.
Having an outstanding season is good for some of us old-timers who are really hoping for success as soon as possible.
Maybe that summer transfer business wasn’t as bad as we had thought and we have brought in some very decent players, but no expense buys.
Rafa takes one game at a time, and the next game is at Brighton this afternoon where another win will keep us in 4th place, but a draw will see us stay in 7th place or even drop down to 9th place with a defeat.
Rafa is clear that he will keep the players concentrating only on the next game and at least we know they will not get carried away if we (hopefully) keep winning games.
Rafa Benitez on the sidelines against Stoke last week
This is what Rafa has said before today’s tough game at the Amex Stadium:
“The main thing is not what they think or were expecting, it is what we think and what we are convinced we can do.”
“The message has to be exactly the same: keep going, keep working hard and we will have more chances to get points every game.”
“If you said, ‘Are you happy to be the surprise or to be at the bottom?’, I’d rather be the surprise.”
“We want to win and stay there and then you will be talking about the Champions League and all these things.”
“We are realistic, we know it’s a question of time before we lose some games. But if we can delay that as much as we can, it will be fine.”
“Keeping the momentum, keeping the good spirit, I think we can compete against anyone. And then it’s football, you never know.”
“Forty points is a guarantee that you will stay, but I’m not thinking too much about that, believe me. I am thinking about the next win, the next game.”
“If we can win, another three points; if we cannot, we carry on to the next one.”
“With Napoli in the Champions League, we had 12 points and we were out on goal difference, so I will touch wood and hopefully we will be fine.”
We are starting to realize that with Rafa in charge anything seems possible as he prepares the team expertly for each game and has a good match plan.
And he can change that match plan during the match as he sees what the other team are doing.
It really is a huge advantage to Newcastle to have a manager like Rafa at the club.
The club has been reborn under his management and long may it all continue.
Howay The Lads!!