The international break provides an opportunity for key injured players to recover and, dare we say it, Rafa may have a welcome selection headache when picking his team for the trip to Burnley in two weeks time.
In the past he has stuck with his winning team, meaning Shelvey and Lascelles unthinkably are not automatic selections – but it will be interesting to see what he goes for a week on Monday. A rare selection headache for Rafa after our team has tended to pick itself this season.
Under Benitez, moral at the club has never been an issue, it has been more a lack of confidence. The two wins will have certainly restored confidence among players and once again we have hope.
Just a few weeks ago we hadn’t a single win under our belt, yet now we’ve beaten two of the best sides outside the top six in back to back victories at St James’ – and big Salomon Rondon suddenly looks like our saviour.
Compliments from Paul Merson after Saturdays win are rare indeed. Let’s not forget on 26th July, Sky Sports published a prediction of the Premier League this season, with the relegation three being Cardiff, Huddersfield and Newcastle.
Now let’s temper our hope, not expect too much and see where Rafa guides us.
Our next four fixtures, Burnley (A); West Ham (H); Everton (A); and Wolverhampton (H) provide an opportunity to build on recent performances and prove the doubters wrong ahead.