On the eve of the Burnley match, Rafa Benitez has given an exclusive interview to Sky Sports.
In terms of both his and the club’s future, the manager has once again stated that the ‘right decisions’ must be made in January.
When asked repeatedly over the course of recent months and beyond, whether he will extend his stay at St James Park, Benitez as come back to the same point time after time.
He will wait to see what support he gets in the January transfer window before he makes that decision.
It is no surprise, considering the last four transfer windows have seen Rafa Benitez make clear that he has been lied to, that ‘promises’ have been broken.
The two January windows have seen the manager blocked from buying any players, whilst this latest one was the worst of all, with Mike Ashley insisting on a £20m+ profit on deals in and out of the club.
The manager has also come to the defence of Newcastle fans, making clear that it is ludicrous the suggestion that they are ‘too demanding’ in their hopes and expectations.
Rafa Benitez says that most Newcastle supporters simply want to see that the team do their best and work hard, which he believes is the case this season despite no wins in the opening 11 games.
The Spaniard lays out three time periods…
The team must get as many points as possible with the current group of players, then in January Mike Ashley must back him with some new players, then after January he (Rafa) will decide what he will do.
Yet again, Rafa Benitez declares ‘I am happy here and can see the potential of the club’, but as we all appreciate, the manager is wasting his time if Mike Ashley is still going to refuse to support him in trying to realise that potential.
“Relaxed? I don’t know if that’s the right expression, I am more relaxed maybe, but not very relaxed.
“Because still you have to have some nerves, some tension before the games.
“But it’s true that after winning a couple of games in a row, the mood is much better, and the way to approach every training session and every game is a little bit different, because the players don’t feel so much pressure, and can maybe express themselves a little bit better.
“We have had some moments of tension, but I try to stay calm as much as I could. I think we did well, and hopefully we can carry on.
“People think: ‘You have won two games in a row, that’s it,’ but no, we are at the beginning, so still we have to keep going, keep working hard, still we have to show we are really focused.
“We don’t think the job is done because we are out of the bottom three.
“Some people criticise our fans because they are ‘too demanding’. But the majority of the fans (just) want to see the team working hard.
“My job in this case has been to convince the fans this group of players care. I think it’s easy to do that because they can see them working so hard in every game, and after that convince the players to keep trying, even when you make mistake and lose a game.
“The only way to change things is to try again. If you make a bad cross, and then you are scared, you will not do the other one! How can you change things? You have to try.
“Even if you make five mistakes, maybe the sixth one will be the good one, so you have to try and carry on.
“The last meeting we had, two or three weeks ago, about the transfer window, about my future, we decided we would talk later on.
“So I think the main thing to concentrate on now is what we can do to improve the team, and to be sure we are strong in January, and after we can talk about my future. I am happy here, and can see the potential of the club.
“It’s important for the team, important for the club, because you have to do the right things. For me, it is to make sure we can compete and stay in the Premier League, and then after it is easier to talk about the manager, future, whatever.
“But the first thing is to do what we have to do in January, to be sure that we make the right decisions, and then it will be easier to compete against these teams, who are strong and spending a lot of money, and to have better chances to win games.”