Benitez calls for united front at Newcastle

Benitez calls for united front at Newcastle

Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer reacted to Ashley's statement on Match of the Day.

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.

When asked whether Merino would still be a Magpies player next season, Benitez replied, as quoted by the Gazette: "I think that he was unlucky with that injury and also Jonjo and Diame were playing much better".

Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles is paying little attention to speculation suggesting that he could be a summer transfer target for Chelsea and Everton.

"On many occasions through 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.

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'Finally, I would like to thank the fans for their unrivalled support of Rafa and the team throughout the season'.

"Rafa's always wanted money to spend. You hear about rumours, but I'm just concentrating on Newcastle".

He said: "It's clear after staying up - that was the main thing - you have the potential, you have everything to fight and to be in the top 10". I think we have to do something more to make sure the group is stronger and more competitive. "We have to have confidence in this team".

Without some cast-iron guarantees on both scores, he will not be signing up to an extended stay.

One ray of sunshine though has threatened to banish the rainy days that surrounded us under Ashley and even with the danger of storm clouds looming in the distance, these have been kept at bay by the growing proof that Rafa Benitez's project does look like it has the potential to bear fruit. "We have a couple of players on loan who are leaving (Kenedy and Islam Slimani), and a couple of players who have finished their contract too (Jesus Gamez and Massadio Haidara). You have to have a squad to compete".

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