Benitez pleads for support at Newcastle

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has pleaded with the club’s hierarchy to give him financial support so that the team can become competitive again.

The Spaniard feels the Magpies need to collect eight more points from their remaining eight matches games to secure safety in the Premier League – they are currently in 13th position with 32 points.

Speaking at a training camp in Spain, Benitez told reporters: “Have I enjoyed being Newcastle manager? I enjoy it when we are winning.

“I like to do things well and when you see something is right, I’m really proud. But it’s difficult to enjoy it when you are suffering all the time because you have to win and then you lose.

“Have I enjoyed this season? No, but maybe the word ‘enjoyment’ is different in English. I’m really pleased with my job. I like it. But enjoyment is when you score eight goals in the Champions League against Besiktas.”

Toon owner Mike Ashley was reportedly close to selling the club to a consortium headed by Amanda Staveley in January, but the deal collapsed.

Benitez also admitted that the Tynesiders must do things better if they are to avoid playing for survival again next season, provided they stay up.

“We have to change things,” he said. “I came here with the idea to compete and to create a strong team and a strong club, to compete every year. What we have to do if we stay up is improve.

“The way Newcastle was doing things before I arrived doesn’t mean they were right, because they were going down. Now we have had the chance to go up we cannot make the same mistakes again.

“When I said I wanted to stay I could see the potential for this club to be in the top 10 or even higher. To compete and be capable of winning something, you need to have the plan and the process.”