Benitez, Ashley have similar Newcastle ambitions

Date published: Friday 28th April 2017 10:50

newcastle boss rafa benitez 6

Rafael Benitez is confident that himself and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley share similar ambitions on the future of the club.

The pair will sit down in the next week or so to discuss the next phase of the Magpies’ development.

The 57-year-old Spaniard fulfilled the initial remit he was handed when he agreed to stay on Tyneside in May last year by securing promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Benitez knows his squad will have to undergo another expensive overhaul if he is to keep the club in the top flight and with Ashley having put the brakes on recruitment in January, he will have to fully justify every purchase.

However, he believes the sportswear magnate wants the best for the club and in that respect, both men are singing from the same hymn sheet.

The manager said: “The fans want a fantastic team and we want the same, and the owner as a businessman wants the best for this club – and the best for his club is to be successful, to stay in the Premier League and then maybe challenge for trophies.

“It is very simple – we have the same idea, the same objective. Then the way to go to achieve this is something I have to explain. I have to explain my ideas and he has to tell me his.

“I think he wants to win. I’m sure he wants to win games. If we win trophies, it is always positive. It’s about making sure we have the same target to win.

“The way to achieve that is if his way and my way are the same. Then, fine, perfect. I am a professional, he’s a businessman and he knows his business, so it’s simple.”

Benitez’s comments came a day after a cloud was cast over the club’s promotion celebrations by the arrest and subsequent release without charge of managing director Lee Charnley in connection with a HMRC investigation.

Benitez, who revealed he has since spoken to Charnley purely about football matters including pre-season, left room for interpretation when he declined to confirm if he would still be in charge at the start of next season in the immediate aftermath of Monday night’s 4-1 victory over Preston.

He still has two years remaining on his contract, and while he admits his future will be largely determined by his face-to-face conversations with Ashley, he has hinted he wants to stay.

He said: “We have been working so hard to be here (in the Premier League) that I would like to do the right things next season too.

“I had a conversation with him (Ashley) and it was quite positive. He was really pleased for the promotion of the team and, like me and everyone, disappointed with the investigation.

“But it is something that we cannot change, so we need to be sure we do the right things regarding football then we will be ready for the meeting.”

Also Benitez still believes the Sky Bet Championship is within the Magpies grasp. A win for Newcastle tonight against Cardiff would bring them within one point of Brighton and surely put more pressure on the south coast side.

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