The Spaniard says there are a number of differences in terms of tactics, managing personnel and media commitments that have kept him on his toes over the past few months. The biggest change he has experienced however is the number of games. He is quoted by the Chronicle as saying that it is something he hasn’t been used to in recent years:
“Yes, for sure (I am better). I am learning every day. One thing that improves you as a manager is different experiences. If you are learning, trying to adapt and modify things, it improves you.”
“Tactics, PR, man-management – everything is different (in the Championship). Tactics obviously have to be different. I have not had a situation like this for years with so many games.”
Benitez went on to explain in more detail about how varied the tactics can be from different clubs in the Championship. The fact that you have usually two games a week means coaching time is limited, and the ability to prepare for opponents becomes “squeezed” into shorter time periods.
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager has however adapted very well to the unique challenge of a 46 match league season, constructing a sizeable squad to manage the games, and rotating teams to ensure players are at peak fitness. With a sizeable gap to third place, Benitez will be pleased with what he has achieved so far.