Sunday 15 September 2019

Rafael Benitez confident he'll remain Newcastle boss regardless of takeover

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, pictured, is getting on with his job amid takeover talk
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, pictured, is getting on with his job amid takeover talk

Rafael Benitez is confident he will still be Newcastle manager in a year's time whether or not a takeover happens.

The 57-year-old Spaniard spent his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Watford fielding questions about the club's ownership after it emerged that the PCP Capital Partners group headed by Amanda Staveley had tabled a formal bid.

Fans who have railed against current owner Mike Ashley for much of his reign to date are pinning their hopes on a takeover and subsequent January investment to boost the Magpies' chances of retaining their place in the top flight.

However Benitez, who has been left frustrated after the last two transfer windows, is confident he will still be in charge in 12 months' time regardless of what transpires over the next few weeks.

Asked if that would be the case, he said: "I think so. I'm quite happy with this group of players, they're improving, they're learning.

"I think so. I don't see any difficulty now. Just for me it is a challenge now. I was disappointed after the summer? Yes. But still this is a chance for me."

Benitez is taking a pragmatic approach as he awaits news from the boardroom, and admits that even a successful bid may not change things to any great extent for January with Financial Fair Play rules dictating how much the club could spend even if money was available.

But he acknowledges that a swift resolution one way or the other would be better for him, his staff and the players.

He said: "Yes, obviously, you know where you are then. But at the moment, we do not know what will happen, so we have to carry on doing the same things."

In the meantime, the Spaniard will get on with the task of attempting to end a three-game losing streak which has taken the gloss off a promising start to the campaign adamant that the current crop of players is giving him everything they have.

He said: "My disappointment [at the end of the summer transfer window] was because I was trying to be in the top 10. Now it's just to be sure that we stay in the Premier League and we go as high as possible in the table, because you never know.

"These players are giving everything, so we have to support them. That's it."

PA Media

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