Rafa Benitez seemed happy enough with the 1-1 draw and the five-day warm weather break in Murcia, southeast Spain.
Rafa had the players put in double shifts on Wednesday and Thursday and had a team dinner on Thursday night, so it seems to have been really worthwhile.
One thing you know with Rafa is he gets down to some hard work in training – and he loves coaching the players.
Newcastle drew 1-1 with CSKA Moscow today and we did miss a number of good chances but at least we are creating them.
Both new boys Almiron and Barreca started this game, and Almiron had some excellent touches throughout.
He also has speed to burn so we see why Rafa had wanted him for 18 months before we finally signed him last month.
Rafa Benitez – before the game today
These are some of the comments Rafa made after the game:
“To give players minutes in an official game is great for us. It has been a good week for us.”
“There’s a good atmosphere in the squad and everybody knows how crucial that will be.”
“The players will get a couple of days off and then it’s back to start work for Huddersfield.”
Next Saturday we play Huddersfield Town at home, and we’ll have to win that game against the bottom side in the Premier League.
Then we have Burnley the following Wednesday – two wins in those games, and we should be on our way to safety this season.