Following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Stoke, Rafa Benitez perfectly described what he looks for in a player at Newcastle United, saying he needs those who ‘want to defend their black and white shirt’ to show the fans they care.
Benitez was refusing to get carried away after we turned a good start into a great one on Saturday, with our latest win propelling us into the league’s top four, however the gaffer did offer a brilliant reminder of what he expects from his Newcastle United players.
Our three successive wins have created a buzz around St. James’ once again and Rafa has suggested that the teams togetherness, work rate and character is key to our success and their relationship with the fans:
“When I pick players, I need to be sure I am choosing players who really want it and are not always making excuses when they make mistakes. I want players who will make sure they react in the right way.
“The main thing is the togetherness, work rate and character from the whole team. The connection with the fans means the fans appreciate that.
“It is really important that players want to stay, want to fight, want to defend their black-and-white shirt.
“They’re doing that, and I think the fans appreciate that – They are showing the fans that they care.”
I love this from Benitez. It reminds us yet again of just how much this man ‘gets it’ at NUFC and it’s fair to say his players are responding to give us a team to be proud of.
Yes we would’ve loved a few marquee signings this summer and a flashy new striker to get us off our seats, but one thing that will always win us over is honesty, hard work and players who fight for the badge, not the big move away it could earn them.
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About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.