Rafael Benitez wants Newcastle to establish themselves as top-half club

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez looks on before the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium in London

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez looks on before the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium in London

Chelsea completely capitulate against Newcastle and are faced with numerous questions heading into the summer.

Benitez is a popular figure at St James' Park, yet he has repeatedly discussed the need for talks with the board in recent weeks as Newcastle look to build upon Premier League survival.

If Newcastle had hit 50 points (two wins from those late games against Everton, West Brom and Watford???), then that would have given Rafa Benitez eighth spot this season, which would have been four points behind Burnley in seventh, 13 points behind Arsenal in sixth and 25 points behind Liverpool in fourth...

Captain Jamaal Lascelles says Newcastle must do all they can to keep manager Rafa Benitez at the club and happy.

"On many occasions throughout the season, they have been described as a Championship side, which I personally consider to be derogatory".

Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United will on Sunday afternoon clash with Chelsea at home on the final day of the Premier League.

I am just a little anxious that a lot of Newcastle fans are now inadvertently giving him one of these reasons not to finally break the NUFC transfer record that has stood for 13 years already.


Ashley's comments may be greeted with scepticism by some fans, with Benitez having been disappointed by the limits imposed upon him during the last two transfer windows, when he had hoped to strengthen his squad significantly more than he was able to do. "If you are to improve, you need players to push the ones here already".

"Now, we have to make sure that we do the right things and are on the same page".

He said: "I think this week, maybe there will be another conversation and we will see where we are for the next week".

Ashley has admitted he can not afford to give his manager the kind of funds he would need to take the club to the next level and put the business up for sale in October a year ago as a result.

"Since he's been here, everything has been positive: promotion and then the first season in the Premier League we've survived comfortably".

When Rafael Benitez joined Real Madrid in June 2015, you always got the sense it was a marriage destined for a messy divorce.

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