Nice little story on a quiet midweek (after making it nine wins in a row!!), with Rafa Benitez and his coaching team doing a whistlestop tour of some of the sights of Tyneside (no, not 1.30am in the city centre…).

The United boss joined by fitness coach Francisco ‘Paco’ de Miguel Moreno and first team coaches Mikel Antia & Antonio Gomez Perez, Rafa said to be keen on discovering some of the landmarks of Newcastle and surrounding areas.

The first stop on Tuesday morning was the Castle Keep in Newcastle, where they were shown around and told all about the history of the castle and the city, before going to the top of the castle to enjoy its views of the city, its bridges and St James Park.

Rafa Benitez:

“It is a wonderful, historic place at the very heart of the old Newcastle which really gave me a feeling for this city and its history and the fact that the city name originated from this castle in medieval times.”

Then it was the Angel of the North over the water.

Rafa:

“It is a very impressive sight and up close it really is huge, my staff explained to me how it was constructed and told me it is a symbol showing that from the city’s history, the Geordies have created a new future.

“I wanted to see close up this incredible symbol of the city.”

Moving further south, the Newcastle Manager and coaching staff visited Durham, to see the Castle and Cathedral.

Rafa:

“Durham Cathedral is so beautiful. It was very nice to meet Canon Kennedy, who showed me and my staff around and told me about the building, it’s history and its importance. It is spectacular.

“We also visited Durham Castle and the University which was also wonderful. Thanks to everyone we have met today, they were so helpful and so proud of their cities and their buildings, and I am also proud to live in such a fantastic place as this.”

Rafa’s road trip just adds to the feel good factor and whilst obviously a bit of a PR job by the club, nothing wrong with that and Rafa Benitez & his staff didn’t need to give up their time to do it.

Hopefully in some small way this makes Rafa feel even closer to the region and connecting ever more with the people.

Needless to say though, if the likes of Pardew, McClaren or JFK had done something similar, it would have provoked an awful lot of unintended comedy value for Newcastle fans…