Once Rafa Benitez confirmed that he was staying for a trip to the Championship, the whole mood predictably lifted over Tyneside.

The thought of relegation combined with underperforming players AND the loss of our most inspiring managerial choice in years…could well have been the very big straw that broke the long suffering black and white camel’s back.

Optimism only takes you so far of course and despite positive updates from Rafa about work behind the scenes, until the first signing(s) were through the door we didn’t have a lot to go on when it came to which direction Newcastle were likely to be heading in.

Bang! Three signings in 48 hours and we could all enjoy our weekend.

Matz Sels is more of an unknown quantity than the other two but looks to have a positive profile. Young (24) but decent experience in a couple of seasons at Gent as number one, including Champions League football through to the knockout stages last season.

However, it is the other two Newcastle signings that fill in a lot of blanks.

It is surely ironic that a drop to the Championship now coincides with Newcastle belatedly buying players from Premier League clubs.

That mantra of there always being better value abroad, crumpled up and tossed out of the window by Rafa Benitez.

Hindsight can be a wonderful (though depressing) thing but you do have to wonder if Newcastle would have still been relegated, if Gayle and Ritchie had been recruited last summer, rather than chasing fools gold with Florian Thauvin?

The idea of a Manager not being the key figure when it comes to recruiting players, is surely a formula for disaster.

Rafa Benitez is now putting flesh to the bones of his bouncing back strategy and Newcastle fans are liking what they see.