Rafa Benitez gives fascinating insight into his methods at Newcastle
Rafa Benitez says he dug out his old notebooks in a bid to get Newcastle United back to winning ways.
The club recorded its first Premier League win of the season on Saturday at the 11th attempt.
A second-half goal from Ayoze Perez gave Benitez’s side a 1-0 win over Watford at St James’s Park.
Benitez had drawn on all his coaching experience to look at everything he and his staff were doing in recent weeks.
“We’ve had meetings with the staff and talked to players as individuals to see if we could change something or if something was wrong,” said Benitez.
“We have so many things we thought were right, so it was really just a case of carrying on. We just had to be lucky. We scored the goal, and had chances to make it 2-0, but they could have scored late on. We cannot be so unlucky every time, though.”
Benitez had gone through old coaching notes to see if there was anything he could do differently.
“I’ve been using all my experience to think about what we could do to change things,” said Benitez. “I was reading all my notes from the past, looking for things you could do.
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“We were trying everything, and we were so close, so we decided it was not really a case of having to change this or that because we were doing so well.
“We needed to win to confirm that everything we were doing was right.
“I did it in the last two or three weeks – I was checking everything.
“We knew we needed to win. If we continue winning, maybe this will be one of my biggest results.
“What I will say is that it’s a little bit difficult when you’re doing well, but you cannot win. Then you go to the next game, and you can feel that confidence is low.
“You have to encourage players to try to carry on and carry on. We tried to make sure they were pushing (against Watford) and trying again. It could be massive for us. If we can carry on winning games, it will have been massive.”