Mbemba featured in the weekend's 3-0 win over Swansea City that kept Newcastle's survival hopes very much alive.
Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba has hailed manager Rafa Benitez as a great man-manager as the Magpies recorded their first clean sheet under the Spaniard as well as picking up their first win with a 3-0 victory over Swansea City at the weekend.
Benitez was drafted in last month in place of Steve McClaren with the club in serious relegation trouble. That trouble still remains but their 3-0 win over the Swans at the weekend takes them to within two points of Norwich City, who occupy 17th place, with fierce rivals Sunderland sandwiched in between.
Mbemba told the Chronicle: “For me, as a young player, it is absolutely fantastic to work with Rafa Benitez. He’s a fantastic coach and fantastic man manager.
“I have been lucky in my career to work with some fantastic managers but I am really proud to work with him on a personal note.
“The win was for the fans this weekend. They motivated us, and so does the manager, every day in training. We have so much pride to be able to work with him.”
Mbemba certainly played his part at the weekend, but there are going to have to be more solid defensive displays to get Newcastle out of their current predicament, with two huge games ahead of them as they host Manchester City tomorrow night at St James' Park before they travel to Anfield on Saturday to take on Benitez's former club Liverpool.
In both games, Newcastle are going to face severe examinations of their defensive capabilities with both of their opponents in pretty good form, and a positive result from either or both games would be a huge boost to the side's confidence.
The 21-year-old himself has a long way to go until he reaches his prime but given that he has a manager who prides himself on his defenders being solid, he has a good man to learn from. He, along with other members of the Newcastle squad, will want to guarantee Benitez remains at the club for the long term by surviving in the top flight this season.