In the latest Newcastle news, boss Rafa Benitez says there is no reason why the Magpies cannot be successful in the future but warned there must be a clear structure in place at St James’ Park with everyone pulling in the same direction.
Newcastle have had a tough campaign back in the Premier League after winning the Championship last May and currently sit 13th in the table, just four points clear of the bottom three.
The battle to avoid the drop looks like being a tight one this season with as many as nine teams still in danger of going down and Benitez knows how important staying up will be as he tries to build something in the north east.
The Spaniard has been frustrated with the financial constraints placed on him at times since he took over two years ago as owner Mike Ashley attempts to negotiate the sale of the club. There were plenty of reports suggesting he was set to walk away earlier in the campaign but Benitez remains committed and has the full support of the fans, who recognise he’s done a good job in somewhat difficult circumstances.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss sees the vast potential Newcastle has and he believes they can even think about winning trophies in the future, as long as they get the right structure in place – both on and off the pitch.
“When I said I wanted to stay, I could see the potential for this club to be in the top 10, or even higher, but it depends on consistency,” he said. “You have to have a structure. Everybody has to be organised.”
Winning silverware seems like a distant dream at the moment but Benitez is trying to be as positive as possible and can envisage a successful future.
“Can we win trophies? We would need time, but you never know in the cups,” he added. “To compete and be capable of winning something, you need to have the plan and the process. Everything has to be, not settled down, that’s not the right phrase, but more clear.”
Benitez is under contract at St James’ Park until the end of next season but could decide to quit if he doesn’t get the assurances he feels he needs in order to try and improve the club’s fortunes and take them forward, although much may depend on a sale going through in order to provide him with more funds in the summer transfer window.
Newcastle’s immediate focus is on staying up, though, and they face a huge clash with fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town after the international break. The Terriers are a point and two places behind Benitez’s side so both know a win is vital with the run-in to the season now coming into view.
Following the home game with Town, Newcastle go to Leicester on April 7 before hosting Arsenal on April 15.