Newcastle have been in fine form this season with a string of wins culminating in the belief that they can win the league resurfacing.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Newcastle with the Magpies proving to everyone just how dangerous they can be. Victories over Norwich and Rotherham before the international break has been followed up by their 3-1 win over Brentofrd on Saturday. However, Newcastle face a tough test in the form of Barnsley tonight with Benitez's tactics for the game vital. With this in mind, he has given an insight into his thoughts to the Chronicle Live.
Newcastle were in no mood to mess around on Saturday as they brushed aside a Brentford team that is very difficult to beat. The 3-1 win was a comfortable one with Ciaran Clark finding the net along with a double from Dwight Gayle.
Newcastle's Dwight Gayle scores their fourth goal
They must now face a Barnsley side that has scored 23 goals this season and have been in free scoring mood throughout the season. They have however, conceded 20 times in 12 games, something the Magpies will look to exploit.
Newcastle have not been shy in front of goal either, with a Championship high 25 goals in 12 games, while what really separates the two sides is the fact that Benitez's team have conceded just 11 goals this season.
It is vital then that Benitez finds a way to stunt Barnsley's ability to score, which will surely culminate in Newcastle outscoring their opponents due to their very leaky defence.
Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez told the Chronicle Live: "We’re also talking about a team that is scoring a lot of goals. They play good football and they press too. If you make mistakes they will be there".
"We have to be sure we start the game with the right mentality and confidence, plus no complacency. We have had this experience before, we’ve done well and then made mistakes. Sometimes because we weren’t ready or because the other team is doing well".
"In this case, we know that this is a very offensive team who play with high tempo and play with intensity. We now have experience of this kind of game. You have to start the game really well, focus and concentrate on mistakes or you will pay for that".
It is clear then that Benitez realises the importance of Newcastle starting quickly, and denying the opposition the chance to do the same.
If Newcastle can pick up their ninth win of the campaign then it will keep the pressure up on Norwich, and it will further outline their promotion credentials.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez