Newcastle fans and journalists now allowed to talk freely about what happens next
Newcastle United are up.
Monday night saw promotion signed off and we can now all strap ourselves in for the adventure ahead.
It definitely hasn’t felt like a sprint, or once around the track, or even a marathon, more like a lot of times around the track making up a series of marathons.
Newcastle’s Manager, squad, and supporters, can all now look back at a job well done and also still an outside chance of some icing on that promotion cake, if Brighton falter and Newcastle edge the title.
Rafa Benitez though appears to have given some indication of his priorities, appearing to look after his players as the first thought.
At his Thursday press conference, the United boss stated Gayle, Lascelles, Ritchie, Anita, Gamez and Hanley would all miss the Cardiff match but indicated that at least one or two of them could have played if necessary. Choosing to rest players and make sure they didn’t do themselves a mischief, rather than recklessly throwing everything at going up as champions.
The Championship is actually a strange one, with Newcastle United now guaranteed a trophy whether they finish first or second.
The reasoning for the runners-up trophy appears to be that with the play-off winners receiving one at Wembley, it seems a bit unfair on the ones who end up wedged between the champions and the end of season lottery winners.
Next thing they’ll be awarding a trophy for that all important fourth place in the Premier League that gets you a chance at Champions League football – though just like promotion from the second tier – the prize is far greater than a silver pot.
Monday night’s confirmation of promotion was like a dam bursting open, as fans and journalists alike were now allowed to talk freely about what happens next.
There was always an element of fear that Newcastle could end up missing out on promotion but at every stage, Rafa Benitez calmly steered his squad into calmer waters.
Let’s all hope the experienced Rafa can handle Mike Ashley just as well.
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