Rafael Benitez found himself caught in a storm as he tried to watch Newcastle’s Premier League victory over Swansea from his armchair.
The 57-year-old Spaniard was forced to admit defeat in his bid to get to South Wales after being laid low by surgery despite owner Mike Ashley having a helicopter standing by.
In the end, Benitez had to watch the game on television at his home in the north-west, although he revealed even that did not go smoothly as the weather interfered with the satellite signal.
He said: “There were problems with me staying at home because, when the game started, there was a storm and I couldn’t see the TV. I had to watch it on another TV.
“I was on the sofa and on the phone all the time shouting. I enjoyed it. I obviously wanted to be there, but I was quite confident because everyone was telling me everything was fine during the week.
“Everything was going according to plan. I could see the first minute, and you can see the mistakes on the TV, but some of the things I was trying to tell them, they already knew. It shows their work in all these years has been good.”
Skipper Jamaal Lascelles’ goal ultimately made his manager’s day after a difficult week which had seen Benitez attempt and abandon the trip back to Newcastle three times.
He said: “I want to say thank you to everyone here, the players, staff and fans for their messages. It was a special situation and everyone was showing sympathy. I appreciate that.
“We won, so everything was good, but last week was not easy. I was trying to come back during the week, but was feeling sick.
“On the day of the game, I was not feeling well. I was thinking: ‘What can you do for the team. If you are sick, you can do nothing’.
“I was in contact with my staff during the week and they were telling me everything was good. It was better for me to stay at home because of my problems.”
In the event, coaches Francisco de Miguel Moreno, Mikel Antia and Antonio Perez held the fort, and did so to such good effect that Benitez joked he might not be needed for Stoke’s visit to St James’ Park.
He said with a smile: “I said to them they wanted to push me out!”