Rafa Benitez has worked some magic once again.
After 11 games without a win, the Newcastle boss has conjured up three wins in a row from fixtures where they didn’t win a single point last season.
Watford and Bournemouth put away at home, followed by an excellent away display on Monday night.
Rafa Benitez was loving it after the game and summed up just how tough the challenge is at the moment: ‘Every game for us is like a final. Winning is massive because it gives us more confidence.’
The Newcastle boss believing that ‘amazing’ was a fitting description to the ‘effort, organisation and team spirit’ that was shown in Monday’s 2-1 win.
With the clock ticking down, it was predictable that as usual Benitez would be asked about his own contract position and the January transfer window, which looks to be key if the manager is going to extend his stay. Rafa Benitez having repeatedly said this over months and months.
He gave a great answer this time: ‘When we talk about my future, talk about what can happen, we are talking about the future of Newcastle United Football Club, it’s not Rafa Benitez in the end. If we sign the players, I will not take the players home with me, so they will stay there. And if they are good players, they can also be the future.’
As our top class manager says, this is all about Mike Ashley recognising that he has to allow the club’s money to be invested in adding better quality players to the squad, not (only) because it might help to keep Rafa at the club, but because it is essential that it happens for the future of Newcastle United.
Or even better, Mike Ashley finally puts the club up properly for sale and moves aside to let ambitious and (hopefully!) decent new owners work with the fans and Rafa Benitez to allow NUFC to realise its potential.
“Every game for us is like a final.
“Winning is massive because it gives us more confidence.
“There is still a long race ahead but we are doing well, hopefully we can continue that.
“We needed to win and to perform well…the players did it and it was amazing in terms of effort, organisation and team spirit.
“We were working in the week trying to manage Burnley’s two big centre-forwards and our players did really well.
“The main thing for us is to make sure we can get something out of these games and we have the confidence now, the players will continue pushing and working hard.
“Our away fans are amazing.
“At home, they are really good but away? They are even better because they come here just to support the team and enjoy the game.
“So when you go back with three points, it is the best thing you can do for them.
“We had an idea how to play against a physical team that was strong.
“The effort and attitude of the players was great, they stuck to the game plan.
“The team are beginning to look like what we can be, but we have to get the right side of the margins because it is tight for teams like us.
“Landing on those right sides (of the margins) is so, so important.
“When we talk about my future, talk about what can happen, we are talking about the future of Newcastle United Football Club, it’s not Rafa Benitez in the end.
“If we sign the players, I will not take the players home with me, so they will stay there.
“And if they are good players, they can also be the future.
“It’s a question of wait, go to January and see what we can do, now is the time to enjoy (having won the game).”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Burnley 1 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Fernandez (Mee own goal?) 4, Clark 23
Burnley: Vokes 40
Possession was Burnley 56% Newcastle 44%
Total shots were Burnley 14 Newcastle 17
Shots on target were Burnley 4 Newcastle 3
Corners were Burnley 5 Newcastle 5
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Kenedy (Hayden 90), Rondon (Joselu 71), Perez
Woodman, Manquillo, Shelvey, Murphy, Atsu
Crowd: 20,628 (Newcastle 2,400)
(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win HERE)
(Read the match report HERE)
(Sean Dyche puts defeat down to ‘lucky’ and ‘poor’ goals – Read HERE)
(After NUFC win, Danny Mills sees problems ahead for Burnley AND Newcastle fans – Rad HERE)