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Bob Moncur feels the corner turned after the win over Huddersfield

Moncur told the Chronicle: “I’ve been involved at this football club for over 50 years - and it’s always been the same.

It is staggering really. The classic example was two years ago when we’d already been relegated from the Premier League and the game was still a complete sell out with 50,000 Newcastle fans at St James’ Park. Where else would that happen in the world? It is so long since they’ve had success but still they come here. I’ve had arguments with people over whether it’s a big club and if you judge it in terms of support we’d be top of the world because they still turn out despite not winning something for such a long time.

“It’s always nice at this time of year when things are going well. I go around the lounges after games and I have to be honest in the last three or four years I wasn’t looking forward to it. If they didn’t get the points I’d go round and explain to people why they might not have got a result. But now with Rafa Benitez in charge and getting such good results, it’s a pleasure after games because they are so organised.

“I stood here after the Huddersfield game and I was smiling. For me, it was the turning point of the season. I am normally a dour Scot and at times I can be pessimistic - or so I’m told! But after Huddersfield, I said normally we’d be looking down but I’m actually looking up here, and it’s been proved that feeling was right because we’ve since beaten Leicester and Arsenal. Between now and the end of the season there’s a chance to get some results.

“What can you say about Rafa? It’s not just the way he gets results and sets his team up, he is perfect for a city that’s obsessed with their club because he’s such a football man in general. I’ve been close up to him and he’s always talking about football. Not that long ago he was talking about the 1960s, players like Di Stefano and Puskas, he’s only 58 so he must have studied these players over and over. He knows everything that goes on and what’s what and that’s just his dedication to the game.”

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