Rafa Benitez Becomes first Newcastle Manager to win Manager of the Month award

Rafa Benitez has been crowned as November’s Manager of the Month after orchestrating three wins out of three to lift his side out of the relegation zone.

The Spaniard also becomes the first Magpies boss to win the award in four years as Newcastle overcame Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley in a perfect month for the north east side.

It is also the seventh time Benitez has won the award with only five other managers to have won the accolade more.

Martin O’Neill and Harry Redknapp both won the Manager of the Month award eight times, while David Moyes (10), Arsene Wenger (15) and Sir Alex Ferguson (27) are the top three coaches to have won the prize more.

The 58-year-old was delighted to have been given the award and said that he’d like to win it more often to help Newcastle climb to a better position in the table.

“It’s always good to win trophies,” Benitez said. “Obviously I would like to win more manager-of-the-months then we would be in a better position in the table. But it’s always positive and it is good also for the staff. Everybody is helping you and it is an extra motivation.

The Spaniard always felt that a positive result was not far as the team entered November.

“We were very close,” he said. “We needed the first win and as soon as we won the first one, everybody was playing with more confidence. The monkey was off the back and then we started winning.”

Of the three wins last month, the Newcastle boss said that beating Burnley away 2-1 was perhaps the best.

“The third one against Burnley was quite good because we were playing away against a difficult team,” he said.

Newcastle are currently 15th in the table after two defeats and a draw so far in December.

Benitez and his team will travel to face Huddersfield this Saturday.