Rafa Benitez has revealed that irrespective of the level of the competition, his preparations carry the same intensity.
The Chronicle reports that the Spaniard said:
“I think that we are fine – I am happy and I have confidence in this team. We have some time to keep working and trying to improve the squad.
“But I think it’s normal to what I’m used to; yes you have changed the competition, but in terms of a team you are a manager and you have the opportunity to keep working the way you want to work and you enjoy your job.”
It’s that professionalism which Benitez needs to ensure becomes ingrained in the player’s minds. Whilst we are all growing in confidence that promotion is a realistic aim this season, Rafa is determined to make sure that the players don’t become complacent.
Having finished the pre-season unbeaten, there’s a danger that a winning start to the season could see some of the squad think this is a doddle. It’s at that point, things go wrong.
It’s a fine line to tread. Keeping the feet on the ground as well as finding praise to boost confidence. Too much either way and you can quickly find yourself in a mess.
Despite having managed at Real Madrid and Liverpool, reaching cup finals and playing in the Champions League, this is a new experience for the Spaniard. It’s that experience which the club will be relying on to guide us back to the Promised Land.