Newcastle players desperate for Rafael Benítez to stay

Newcastle players desperate for Rafael Benítez to stay

Rob Elliot and Ayoze Perez have led the pleas for Benítez to stay at the club as they look forward to playing Premier League football again next season.

Adam Smith

Rafael Benítez has the backing of his players as they urge him to stay at St James’ Park for the long-term.

The Magpies sealed promotion on Monday following a 4-1 victory over Preston North End. The teary-eyed Spaniard took to the pitch after the game to a standing ovation and thanked all the staff.

But the jubilation from fans was short lived as Benítez refused to confirm he would be staying on Tyneside next season.

“You never know, that is football,” replied Benítez.

Seeking assurances

It is thought that the Spaniard will seek assurances from owner Mike Ashley over transfer plans after being let down with the lack of spending in January.

The 57-year-old is looking for a substantial transfer budget as he aims to build a team capable of attacking the Premier League to avoid another season of struggling at the bottom of the top flight.

The 'Rafalution'

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot believes it is essential United keep their Champions League-winning boss if the club are to be successful in the near future.

Elliot said: “He deserves every plaudit. It’s been tough for him. He’s come from Real Madrid to manage Newcastle in the Championship, expected to win the league, expected to go up without losing a game – and it doesn’t work like that.

The Irishman added: "He’s been brilliant, he’s kept himself calm, he’s kept the players calm.”

The Republic of Ireland international also claimed that Benítez has helped “every single one” of the players and that there is a “much more positive atmosphere” around the city and club.

“The biggest thing is the connection between the fans and the players is the manager, it is back again," said Elliot.

"And hopefully we can just continue that because when we are all together and the club is moving in the right direction, the whole city can be really special on nights like Monday ad hopefully there is more of them to come,” added Elliot.

“He has brought passion to the club and brought pride back. And the commitment he showed to stay, hat is the biggest thing. The fact he stayed just shows not only the type of person he is but the type of club we are.”

The start of something special?

The stopper pinpointed the 5-1 victory over Spurs on the final day of the season as the start of Benítez thinking ‘look at this place and look what it can be’.

“Hopefully he is here for a long, long time and we can reach those heights again. He deserves all the credit he gets,” he concluded.

Ayoze Perez, who scored two goals in Monday night’s game, echoed Elliot’s claims by saying: “Rafa is very important to our future.

“This season the team has played really well, this is a tough league, and we got promoted straight away which is really hard to achieve once you have gone down. He’s been really important for us and hopefully he’s here for many years with us.”