Rafa took the Newcastle players to Murcia in Spain for five days last week, and it seems to have been a big success.
You expect it to be good when Rafa Benitez is around becasue he just loves to coach his players and he loves good hard work.
On Friday he also spent four hours with the attending local journalists and talked about all things football – something else he loves to do.
The journalists were really appreciative that Rafa took so much time out for them.
And in Spain, the weather was fairly good (a little chilly but at least dry) and he was able to get double training shifts in during Wednesday and Thursday.
Rafa Benitez talking to journalists in Spain
It ended up with a friendly game and a 1-1 draw against CSKA Moscow, but we really should have won the game and missed some decent chances.
This is what Rafa has said about the game and the trip as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“It was a good game,”
“After five days with double training sessions it was good to give everyone 45 minutes. You could see the tempo was good.”
“I am happy with a lot of things but I think we could have won the game. We had a lot of chances.”
“But overall it is a positive because the new players Barreca and Almiron know the players around them.”
“If we can win some games like we did last year then that would be perfect.”
“We have some massive games against Huddersfield, Burnley and West Ham coming up.”
“We know that if we do well in these games we can win.”
“But at the end of the day we have to play to our level, we have to deal with the pressure.”
“Then approach the games with the confidence we had last year.”
We really do need to go on a winning streak quickly, and then perhaps we can be safe fairly soon.
Rafa will be hoping new signing Miguel Almiron can be the player who makes the difference at Newcastle.
And the playmaker is sure to start the next game – a relegation 6 pointer against Huddersfield at home next Saturday afternoon.
A win in that game is what we all need.