Rafa Benitez reveals what his notes told him to do at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez says his old notebooks had told him one thing above all else – to stay calm.

Benitez revealed earlier this month that he had been dusting off old notes in a bid to get Newcastle United back to winning ways.

The club has since won back-to-back Premier League games – and moved up to 14th place in the league.

And United’s manager is confident that his players won’t get carried away after successive victories.

“I was saying before, we were doing well in games, we were solid,” said Benitez, whose side beat Bournemouth 2-1 at St James’s Park on Saturday.

“When I was talking about looking back at my notes, staying calm was one of the main things.”

I think the international break is bad for us, but at the same time it gives us time to recover and spend time with our families.

Rafa Benitez

Newcastle are now in touch with the mid-table teams going into the two-week international break.

“When you’re so close to the other teams, any win is massive,” said Benitez.

“Two wins is even more important.

“I think the international break is bad for us, but at the same time it gives us time to recover and spend time with our families.

“We can come back with more energy, and if we can get another couple of good results ... I’ve always said November and December will be so important for us.”

Meanwhile, Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic said his team had a “tough afternoon” at St James’s Park.

“That was a tough afternoon, a tough start and we were unlucky with the first goal then we got an injury to a key player (Adam Smith),” said Begovic.

“Then it was 2-0 and we got one back. We have to take it on the chin and we have to bounce back when we return to action in a couple of weeks time. We’ve had a setback, and we need to regroup and come back stronger.

“We’ve had a good start over the first few months, and we need to re-group and go again.”

Asked if Newcastle had been more aggressive, Begovic added: “It was a little bit of everything – it’s difficult to point at just one thing.

“At 2-0 down, it’s a big mountain to climb, especially here.”