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The 3 reasons behind Rafa Benitez's success at Newcastle

After his nightmare Real Madrid, Rafa Benitez is enjoying life at Newcastle United. His success at the Magpies, who are sitting top of the Championship, is down to three major factors.

Despite Newcastle United’s relegation from the Premier League last season under Rafa Benitez – who only arrived at the club with a few games remaining and the damage already done – it looks like the Magpies’ spell in the English second tier may be short lived.

Under Benitez, Newcastle are flying high in the Championship, sitting pretty at the top of the division having won 10 out their first 14 games as well as reaching the quarter finals of the League Cup for only the second time in 40 years.

Everything seems to be going to plan with the Spanish coach at the helm and barring a dramatic reverse in fortunes and form, it’s likely the sidefrom the north-east of England will bounce straight back up to the top flight next year.

Below we take a look at the three reasons behind Rafa’s success at Newcastle and why he’s much happier now than he was in his ill-fated spell as manager of Real Madrid last season:

Trust

After his Real Madrid nightmare, Rafa Benitez was in search of a team where he could take full control, while at the same time, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was in need of a manager with reputation and authority who could turn his club around. Although Ashley has gained a reputation for meddling behind the scenes with previous coaches at St. James Park, it seems Benitez has won the owner’s trust. Although Benitez did not guarantee his stay in Newcastle after relegation, in the summer he played his cards perfectly and convinced the president to give him a say in major decisions.

Transfers

Ashley’s confidence in Benitez has resulted in signings that are, up till now, performing as expected, or perhaps even better. New arrivals Gayle, Ritchie, Clarke and Hanley are doing excellently. Gayle, for instance, has 11 goals in 12 Championship matches.

Control of the dressing room

Rafa Benitez now has full control and respect of the dressing room: something he never managed in Madrid. All players under his command are raving about him with the entire club aligned to achieve the goal of promotion. An image that well captured the good vibes was when Mitrovic picked up the coach and swung him in the air after Newcastle’s dramatic comeback against Norwich to win 4-3.