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Graham Barrow respects Rafa Benitez for sticking it out at St James Park

5 years ago

Graham Barrow is looking forward to getting ‘one over’ Rafa Benitez.

As former player, coach, manager, Barrow is a real Mr Wigan.

For the second time this season he has now got the job of caretaker manager, following the sacking of Warren Joyce.

For many it looks an impossible job both to beat Newcastle on Saturday and get to safety in the Championship.

Graham Barrow has been given the job until the end of the season and finds himself seven points off safety, whilst on the other hand he thinks Rafa is ‘going to take Newcastle back to the top’.

However, with five defeats at home already, the Wigan boss must think they have to just come and have a real go, with the likes of Wolves, Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn and Huddersfield having already taken away three points from St James Park.

Three of those defeats saw Newcastle fail to score and despite being second bottom, no team in the bottom half has conceded less than Wigan and only seven in total have achieved that in the top half. In fact third placed Huddersfield have conceded only one goal less than the relegation strugglers.

So Graham Barrow will feel that if they can defend like they usually do, a smash and grab could be on, just like Blackburn who beat Newcastle home and away despite only having one effort on target in both games.

With only one goal in the last three games and failing to win three games in a row for the first time this season, Rafa Benitez will be fully expecting Newcastle to bounce tomorrow.

An early goal and Newcastle could stroll it but the longer the game goes on, these end of season pressures will only increase.

Graham Barrow talking to Wigan Today:

“I have obviously been privileged to be in offices with him when we were in the Premier League, when he was at Liverpool.

“You talk to him, you listen to him, and you can’t help but learn from someone like that, who has had such a fantastic career.

“He probably had chances to go elsewhere last summer but stuck it out at Newcastle and it looks like he’s going to take them back to the top.

“You can’t help but respect someone like that.

“But similar to when I was a player, you can have all the respect in the world for someone, while also enjoying the competition and the chance to get one over them.”


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