Reflecting on a year inside the madness that is Newcastle United, Rafa Benitez has looked back on the highs and the lows.

The United boss says that ‘the main thing’ is that now ‘the club is going in the right direction’ but it has taken some turning around.

Looking back to what he thought from the outside, before he agreed to take the job. Rafa Benitez says that he never realised just how bad things were.

The Newcastle Manager saying ‘When you see from the outside, you think this and that, but when you are here you can see the problems from inside, and think, ‘Hmm. Maybe it was a difficult task.’

Thankfully he wasn’t frightened off by the mess he discovered and has spent the past 12 months trying to pull NUFC back on course, after Ashley, Carr, Charnley, McClaren, Pardew, Carver and others, had done their best to wreck the good ship Newcastle United.

Talking about what a really big, really great, club is all about. Rafa Benitez says that the starting point is seeing all of the fans making the effort and spending their money to support the team home and away – but that it also goes beyond that.

The NUFC supremo saying that when you walk around our city ‘everybody is loving the club – the name of the club, the stature of the club’ and that is so important if you wan to be a club that succeeds long-term.

Newcastle fans have always known that if somebody can get it totally right, then there is unbelievable power to harness.

Both Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson showed to a large extent what is possible, could Rafa Benitez be the one to take it all a step further.

Rafa Benitez:

“It has been a great experience and I think the main thing is to see the team, and the club, going in the right direction.

“Everything is going well,and hopefully we can continue in the same way.

“My idea is not to enjoy the anniversary too much but to be sure we are ready for (the Fulham) game, that we are where we want to be at the end (of the season).

“The first (objective) was to try and stay in the Premier League. We couldn’t.

“When you see from the outside, you think this and that, but when you are here you can see the problems from inside, and think, ‘Hmm. Maybe it was a difficult task.’

“We were unlucky, because of the games we had at the beginning. Leicester were doing really well, Sunderland and Norwich were teams with us, and maybe with a little more time, it could have been different.

“But, at the time, we couldn’t react – we had a lot of injuries, we had just arrived, and we needed to manage. After that, we knew more or less where things were going wrong and tried to change things.

“I think we have changed a lot but still, we have to keep changing things and try to be sure we are more consistent in terms of the performance of the team.

“Before I came, everybody was talking about a massive club, a massive city and fans behind the team, and that is clear.

“You can see at every away game and every home game that we have a lot of fans there, but even in the city, when you go walking around, everybody is loving the club – the name of the club, the stature of the club, and that is really important if we want to be stronger.

“In terms of pressure, when you go to a top side, that can happen. People say, ‘Ah, but you are in the Championship.’ Yes, but still, we are talking about a massive club.

“It is something we have to realise – we have to have the winning mentality that you need, but at the same time, we have to be humble and keep working hard, because that is the only way.”

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    bound to be in a right mess when amateurs have been running the club, problem is they are still there

  • toonterrier

    A lot of the supporters knew how bad it was which is why they walked away. Not going to change until we get a new owner who will spend money to get the players in we need and to keep the manager happy and not forgetting the tremendous support they still get which is amazing considering how far away we are from being a top four team in the Premier league.

    • Wor Monga

      If we get up (which is far from certain)…we will probably be no farther away from the top 4 than another 13 or even 14 clubs…even Liverpool, Arsenal and Man U are finding it getting harder to make the top 4 these days, and Leicester have seen their ‘day in the sun’…

      …but with Rafa (and enough investment) we can always compete for a UEFA place again!!!

      • Leicester Mag

        I’d love to have your optimism, letting Mr Biscuits run a football club is like letting King Herod run a nursery. Can’t help feel the nonsense over Townsend in the last window still points to the same mentality. Hope I’m wrong

  • Wor Monga

    All I can say is… if Rafa thinks all the ‘supporters’ love the club then he obviously doesn’t read the comments on the Mag…seeing as day after day the same ones line up to tell us about his signings being rubbish…his team selections being rubbish, and the way he wants the team to play the game is rubbish, and he’d need to change the lot to survive in the PL!!!

    …We’re not even up yet, but already some of them are fully geared up for the definite relegation next season…I wonder if the supporters at other clubs are able to see the future so clearly…or is it only ours with those special ‘gifts’!!!

    • Horses Heed

      Bury your head in the sand if you want