Rafa Benitez is rightly proud of the season Newcastle have had given he was given very little money to spend last summer.
And he wasn’t allowed to buy anybody in January but instead brought in Kenedy, Dubravka and Slimani on loan and especially the first two players have made a massive difference to the team.
Dubravka and Slimani were also signed in the waning hours of January 31st too – just to make things interesting.
Rafa Benitez congratulates Jonjo Shelvey – after the 2-1 win against Arsenal
Rafa has talked to Spanish radio, and he is rightly proud of his players and what the club has managed to achieve this season with only limited resources available from the owner:
“The players deserve huge credit for coming up from the Championship and, with not a great deal of resources compared with others, have the season they are having.”
“People were saying with 35 points we would be safe, or with 38 we would be safe, I kept saying 40, 41 points is virtual safety.”
“Everything is so tight that you can hit a period of six, seven or eight games without winning and you are in trouble. The team has had a sensational second half of the season.”
“When a team goes down it is very hard to come straight back up and to then have the sort of season we are having.”
“The supporters have been spectacular and they are really proud of the team.”
Newcastle are almost mathematically safe from relegation, and we are in 10th place.
At best can climb to 8th place with good results in our final five games of the season starting at Everton next Monday.
It’s turning out to be a successful season – all’s well that ends well.