After a disastrous start to the season, things finally look to be on the up for Rafael Benitez and Newcastle United.
The Magpies have now won back-to-back Premier League games against Watford and Bournemouth following their run of 10 winless games and find themselves in 14th place having previously been in the relegation zone.
And winger Matt Ritchie has since credited his Spanish boss for the team’s recent turnaround.
Speaking on Newcastle’s poor form this season and how it has affected Benitez, Ritchie told talkSPORT: “That’s one of his best qualities, how calm he is in all situations. I think the bigger picture is definitely something he takes into account and the way he stays so calm.
“We’d gone nine games (sic) without a win at the start of the season, it’s a stressful period for everyone involved but the manager is the leader of that. He always believed in us and the players believe in themselves as well. Hopefully we’ve come through that now and we can kick on.”
Ritchie’s words only further highlight the calibre of coach Newcastle have in Benitez and why it is time for Mike Ashley to finally back the Spaniard in the transfer market.
Player for player, Newcastle probably have one of the weakest teams in the Premier League in terms of quality, yet last season Benitez was still able to guide the club to a 10th place finish following their promotion from the Championship.
And while this campaign so far has not been a particularly good one, it is still hard to imagine the Magpies being at the foot of the table come May due to their ability to pick up results against strong sides such as Watford and Bournemouth under Benitez.
Considering all of that, Newcastle cannot afford to lose Benitez, a scenario that can easily be avoided if Ashley plays his cards right.
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