Despite failing to sign several players he desired over the summer, Rafa Benitez has admitted he is still happy due to the effort his players are putting in, expressing his delight at their team spirit and commitment in everything they do.
Thankfully, any talk of Benitez’s future lying away from St James’ Park has died down, with Rafa finally able to now focus on footballing matters on the pitch.
That being said, there is a level of uncertainty at board level, with the future of Mike Ashley being up in the air as he looks to finally sell the club to potential investors.
This is an unwanted distraction and one Rafa will want sorted as soon as possible, however he seems content with the football side of things, revealing this week just why his group of players are making him happy:
“You have to be pragmatic. I know that this is the group of players that we have and we have to try and improve them,”
“We are working with them on the pitch and they are working really well. We can see some improvements but still I think we can do better. You can see how they approach every training session, how they approach every game, the commitment of the game, the team spirit.
“You have to be happy because that’s what you expect from your players. It doesn’t matter the level of the player, you have to work hard for the team and they are doing that.”
That top line to me suggests Benitez has accepted the fact that these are his group of players now and there’s nothing he can do about that, with him now simply focusing on improving what he’s got.
They seem to be responding well too, with Rafa full of praise for their approach to every training session and game.
Like us, Benitez would’ve preferred to have added quality and depth to certain areas of our squad over the summer but, for now, all we can ask is that this group give their all and fight for the badge – and it’s fair to say they’re doing exactly that so far.