The Championship is seen as one of the hardest leagues to compete in, with 46 games plus whatever the cups throw at you.

Not sure what Bundesliga clubs would make of it with their 34 game season.

Rather than a marathon though, it is really a series of madcap sprints, after this international break there are now seven games in three weeks, before the next round of internationals, This process then repeated once again with internationals at the start of November as well.

You never really think about it when you are in the Premier League but Championship clubs have the worst of it all.

Leagues One and Two may also have 46 league games to get through but they play through the international breaks, whereas Championship clubs suffer periods of idleness followed by ridiculous series of matches.

Newcastle United don’t have a free midweek until the next international break comes around…

You might say that with the money players are paid these days they have no right to complain and you may have a point. However, simple reality tells you that clubs with bigger squads in the Championship have a serious advantage when it comes to lasting the distance.

If you leave aside the League Cup match against Wolves, you wonder how many Newcastle outfield players will play all six Championship matches in this three week period?

It would be a fair bet that the other clubs who aspire to promotion will be forced to play their better players far more often.

You begin to see why Rafa Benitez has acquired a decent number of players this summer, who you maybe wondered what was the point – as they didn’t strike you as potential first choice selections.

They say the harder you work the luckier you get, with Rafa Benitez’ meticulous preparation and planning, surely Newcastle are set to reap the benefits this season from his hard work.