Other fans and the media are desperate to portray Newcastle United as a club that expects to arrogantly walk the Championship but with Rafa Benitez, nothing could be further from the truth.

Personally, I don’t meet any Newcastle fans who take that line and taking the crazed claims of the odd person on social media, shouldn’t be enough to find the rest of us also guilty of treating this division with contempt.

On the eve of the season Rafa Benitez has stated that ‘every game will be difficult’, by which I guess he means that every match has to be approached with the same degree of respect  or else you are inviting failure.

Little wonder that Rafa has made it a big part of his mission to rid the club of those players who couldn’t be relied on to put the effort in every week, the likes of Coloccini, Cisse, Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Marveaux, Doumbia and Obertan all heading elsewhere.

The United boss says that he knows that his players will lose and draw some matches and not play well all the time BUT if they have ‘the belief, the hope and the desire to do things well’, then at the end of the season everything should have worked out ok.

Rafa Benitez says that there is no room for ‘complacency’ and to ensure that doesn’t happen ‘we are ready for the fight’.

Rafa Benitez:

“We have to have the belief, the hope and the desire to do things well, and to support the team because we know that every game will be difficult.

“We know that we will lose some games, we will draw some games and we will play badly sometimes, but at the end, what we want is to be sure that at the end of the season, we will be where we want to be.

“By working hard every day and with the fans behind us, it will be easier for us.

“We know that it is very difficult, the Championship, and we know that every game will be complicated – but now we have the hope that we can do well, the belief that we can do well.

“That is the main thing at the beginning and hopefully throughout the whole season to the end.

“I know that every game will be difficult, from the first one until the last one.

“We have to be sure that we approach every game without complacency and we are ready for the fight.”

NUFC Art Prints - shop.themag.co.uk